Bloomberg News

European Parliament Calls to Rid Belarus of Hockey Championship

March 29, 2012

The European Parliament advocated moving the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship from Belarus to until all political prisoners are released.

“Parliament welcomes the tougher sanctions imposed by the European Union on Belarus in February and calls for further restrictive measures, including targeted economic sanctions,” the European Parliament said in a statement on its website today.

The EU legislature also condemned the execution of two men accused of bombing the Minsk subway last year and called on the Belarusian authorities to release both men’s bodies to their families for burial.

Belarus won the right to host the World Ice Hockey Championship in May 2009. Two years later, the former Soviet republic was hit by a severe balance-of-payments crisis which caused its national currency lose two-thirds of its value in 2011. Belarus, a country of 9.5 million, currently has 26 ice hockey arenas across the country in various stages of construction, according to information on the website of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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