Man’s Hockey Match – Picture of the Day – Kommersant

Hockey Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko played in Strelna, in the Arena ice sports palace. The glass and concrete building was having the best day of its life. The presidents of Russia and Belarus went here after negotiations in the Constantine Palace.

“Today,” Vladimir Putin said to his colleague in the Constantine Palace, “there is an opportunity to calmly, leisurely talk about bilateral relations between Russia and Belarus, based on the results of the construction of the Union State.

From this it was possible to conclude that Vladimir Putin considers the construction of the Union State of Belarus and Russia completed.

He said that, in fact, it is united:

– This is primarily finance (but there is no single currency and a single financial center as there is no one. – A. K.), this is tax, customs legislation, fiscal …

The longer Vladimir Putin spoke, the more inevitable the Union State began to appear.

True, there are encouraging signs.

– Unfortunately, – the President of Russia noted, – in this pandemic year 2020, we experienced a decline in the volume of trade by almost 17%.

But then it turned out that it was too early to be hopeful.

– But this year there is already almost 36% growth! – continued the Russian president. – That is, we covered everything that we lost in the previous one …

– And they added! – stated Mr. Lukashenko mercilessly.

– And they added it almost twice! – agreed Vladimir Putin.

And they left to continue negotiations at lunch, where they could have added at four, if not for hockey in the ice sports arena “Arena”, where for a couple of hours the inscription “Red” – “White” was burning: 0: 0.

– We were pleasantly surprised by all our colleagues (in the CIS. – A. K.), – Alexander Lukashenko shared, – who supported your proposals on many humanitarian issues.

What, I wanted to understand, surprised? Do they usually fight to the death?

– You have shown your reliability! – Alexander Lukashenko was telling Vladimir Putin, even though they have not even started playing hockey yet … – I don’t want to flatter you! It’s not about flattery! .. I’m very grateful to you! I am very grateful to you personally! First of all, for what you did for Belarus (that is, you saved Alexander Lukashenko for it. – A. K.)!..

Mr. Lukashenko was really extremely emotional.

“We are still being strangled, strangled, five packages have been introduced, they are talking about a sixth package,” he continued, “moreover, these sanctions are brainless and useless!

Yes, they struck, these sanctions, there is something in it. Perhaps the bottom. And not the first time. But they will definitely knock from below.

The presidents of Russia and Belarus came out on the ice only after Vladimir Putin, unexpectedly for everyone (perhaps for himself), also held a meeting on the heating season gas of the second line of “Nord Stream-2”). On the ice, the hockey players were almost three hours later than expected. The “Reds” and “Whites” were in maximum combat strengths. Especially “white” … Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexey Kasatonov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Valery Kamensky, Alexey Zhamnov …

We warmed up as if we hadn’t played hockey for a hundred years. In fact, they played it for a hundred years.

From the rostrum, a small but capacious Belarusian delegation headed by the white spitz Umka, who sat almost the whole game, without moving, next to the press secretary of the President of Belarus, Mrs. Natalia Eismont, watched what was happening.

The President of Belarus also married the “whites” (I personally had doubts on the eve of this: I saw how hard he climbed onto the porch of the presidential library before the CIS summit and walked to the entrance, limping heavily).

However, the President of Belarus lasted for three minutes during the warm-up, and then he sat for a long time, lounging and arms outstretched, on the bench. At some point, Vyacheslav Fetisov drove up to him, which made Alexander Lukashenko very happy. They talked much longer than Alexander Lukashenko was warming up.

Finally, Vladimir Putin showed up. Nothing, I think, strange that on the ice he also immediately drove up first of all to Vyacheslav Fetisov and talked to him.

There is no need to talk about all the twists and turns of this dramatic match. Definitely not worth it. The first goal was scored by Vladimir Putin, the second – by Alexander Lukashenko. “White” attacked mercilessly and sometimes senselessly. Alexander Lukashenko and Nikolai Lukashenko played in the second five. The Belarusian president limited himself to passes, obviously taking care of himself (his first goal was the only one in the whole game, although the Belarusian delegation then insisted that there was also the second one).

His son flew across the field and scored four goals. Seemed dissatisfied with himself.

Spitz withstood two periods and only then asked for a walk. The hostess walked him by all indications.

Vladimir Putin scored methodically. At some point, he missed, fell, got up and nevertheless scored a goal for the goalkeeper, who did not forget not only to concede, but also to hit (in fact, I think, he behaved honestly in the proposed circumstances).

The final score turned out to be 18: 7 in White’s favor.

Vyacheslav Fetisov gathered everyone to take pictures. On the ice, Alexander Lukashenko treated the players to either chocolates or cookies.

Vladimir Putin taught them to shout in chorus when they took pictures: “Happy New Home!”

The season was over. And political, and hockey, and theatrical, and in general.

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