— Published 23 October 2023

Moscow reaches out to Minsk

Jointly sidelined from the Olympic movement since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus seem ready to join forces in the sporting arena. Next year, the two countries could co-host the Friendship World Games, a multi-sport competition scheduled for September 2024 in Moscow and Ekaterinburg. Oleg Matytsin, Russia’s Minister of Sport, suggested at a meeting of the Russian and Belarusian sports ministries that Minsk join the event directly by hosting events. “We have made a proposal, which is currently under consideration, for Minsk to co-host the Friendship World Games, he explained, quoted by the TASS agency. We want Minsk to be one of the partners in the project. Our proposals have been submitted to the heads of government and will then be presented to the presidents of the two countries for approval.” Obviously, the idea would not displease Belarus. The Belarusian Deputy Minister of Sport, Alexander Baraulya, assured us that his country was ready, recalling that Minsk had organized the second edition of the European Games in 2019. The World Friendship Games are scheduled for September 15-29, 2024. They are expected to bring together around 10,000 athletes, competing in 27 sports.