The Minsk European Games Organising Committee (MEGOC) held the first briefing for foreign diplomats accredited in the Republic of Belarus and for the representatives of international organizations.
The format of the event, which took place in the National Olympic Committee’s headquarters, envisaged MEGOC presentations for heads and employees of foreign diplomatic missions, as well as answers to questions from the invitees.
Opening the briefing, MEGOC Deputy CEO Anatol Kotau noted that Belarus was grateful for the confidence and opportunity to hold such major competitions as the European Games, which would be a significant event in the sports and cultural life of the whole continent.
He also added that the scale of the upcoming 2nd European Games might be compared to the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. “One of the main goals that we set for ourselves is to promote the ideals of peace, friendship, equality and fair sports rivalry, that is commonly known as the Olympic values,” emphasized Anatol Kotau.
National Olympic Committees of 50 European countries, which are united under the aegis of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), have already confirmed their participation in the Games. In this regard, the organizers of the first briefing considered in detail issues related to the participation of foreign delegations in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games, as well as the ticket program, accreditation, accommodation, protocol, visa-free policy, and other related issues.
MEGOC Head of Communications and PR Alexey Bogdanovich and MEGOC Head of Protocol Alexander Babienia presented detailed information about all current changes in the competition program, accreditation of high-ranking foreign officials, key points of the delegations' stay, accreditation privileges for various client groups of the Games. They also reported about the upcoming law changes envisaged exempt from toll payment of foreign motor vehicles with a maximum laden weight not exceeding 3.5 tons from June 10 to July 10, 2019.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Dapkiunas also took part in the discussion during the briefing.
“The organizers of the Games are conducting this major event in proper time,” noted Andrei Dapkiunas, summing up the results of the briefing. – “The necessary information for heads of diplomatic missions has been announced here. However, what is more important that the participants expressed such considerable interest in the upcoming Games at this early stage of preparation. This is evidenced by the fact that not only representatives of diplomatic missions, but its Heads has arrived at this Briefing, posed a lot of questions during the event, showed interest in specific details. In my opinion, comprehensive answers have been given to most questions. In addition, we’ve agreed on a mode of interaction with diplomatic missions, informed about maximum transparency and openness in work, as well as about availability of information. All those who are involved in the organization of the Games - from the MEGOC to the Ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - will be open to cooperation at all stages and ready to provide all the necessary information.”
“Representatives of diplomatic missions from more than 25 countries took part in the Briefing,” said Anatol Kotau. – “This fact shows that there is a high interest in visiting the 2nd European Games from state leaders, governments, other high-ranking officials of European and other countries. Today’s discussion with the diplomatic corps is evidence that a range of VIP guests will come to the Games. We have been asked exclusively practical questions. Belarus is interested in having as many guests as possible, including high-ranking ones. We will do our best to make everyone feel comfortable here. The more guests come and see the country with their own eyes, the more we will be satisfied as the organizers of the Games, because our global goal is to show Belarus to the whole world.”
After the briefing, the diplomats met the mascot of the 2nd European Games– baby fox Lesik, and visited a MEGOC photo exhibition about sports in Belarus and the achievements of Belarusian athletes.