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Meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach

June 30, 2019, Minsk

Vladimir Putin met with President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach while attending the artistic gymnastics competition at the Minsk Arena.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

I am very happy to meet with you here in Minsk.

I suppose we can congratulate our Belarusian colleagues and friends on their impressive organization of such an ambitious event.

I think that in this connection your arrival in Belarus is a significant event for all sports fans as it shows the International Olympic Committee's interest in competitions of this kind, and adds even more value to the medals won by athletes.

I am very happy to see you.

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach:

Thank you very much for the kind words. It is indeed a pleasure to see you and have the opportunity to talk with each other, since yesterday in Osaka we saw each other only over the table. But here I can, first of all, congratulate you on the many medals that your team has been winning. If I am rightly informed, they have crossed the 100-line now.

This is a tremendous success – and even more so that this is a qualification in many sports already for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. And I think I share your impression that we can already congratulate Belarus for having an excellent organization of these European Games. The atmosphere in the stadiums – I have been out to 2 or 3 – is really excellent. It is a great pleasure meeting you.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I was attentively following your speech at the G20 summit. And of course, we wish all the best to our friends in Japan during their preparations for the Olympic Games – I have known those involved in the preparations for many years – as well as to the International Olympic Committee.

Thomas Bach: Thank you very much for your kind wishes. It was a really great opportunity yesterday that we asked the world leaders for their support of the unifying character and unifying colour of the Olympic Games – because we are deeply convinced that in such fragile times we are living in, times when there are many disputes and many divisions in this world, that the message and the symbols of the Olympic Games are maybe more important than ever.

Vladimir Putin: I think, Mr President, that you will have everyone's support on this.

Thomas Bach: Thank you very much, Mr President.


June 30, 2019, Minsk