OREANDA-NEWS. Vilnius is ready to help Riga in hosting the matches of the Ice Hockey World Cup, that Belarus was supposed to host. This was stated by the head of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of Lithuania, Jurgita Shugzhdinene, on Wednesday, January 20, during a telephone conversation with her Latvian counterpart Ilga Shuplinskaya.

Shugzhdinene wrote on Facebook that the Latvian minister responded positively to this proposal and thanked Lithuania for it. Two days earlier, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) devoided Minsk of it's right to host the World Cup in 2021, citing security concerns. Initially, the championship, scheduled for May-June of this year, was to be hosted by the capitals of Belarus and Latvia. For the fact that Minsk will not be able to host the World Cup games, the Belarusian organizers of the competition will receive compensation from the IIHF.

In Belarus, mass protests against the falsification of the results of the presidential election on August 9, which the CEC again declared Alexander Lukashenko the winner, have not subsided for more than 5 months. The demonstrators accuse the authorities of fraud and demand new, fair elections and the release of Belarusian political prisoners, as well as an end to the arbitrariness of the security forces against the protesters. Representatives of the opposition formed a Coordinating Council for the transfer of power, but in the end, all the members of the presidium of the Constitutional Court were either arrested or were abroad.