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Lajčák comments about football championship in Ukraine

Most European leaders think that sporting events should not be linked with politics, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák told the TASR newswire after the foreign affairs session of the European Council held in Brussels on May 14. The minister was referring to recent discussion about whether European leaders should boycott attendance of football matches to be played in Ukraine (the championship is planned jointly in Ukraine and Poland from June 8 to July 1) because of the complicated political situation in Ukraine. Earlier in May, Ukraine cancelled a European summit scheduled for Yalta after most participants refused to attend in reaction to the treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed opposition leader. Lajčák stated that the EU foreign affairs leaders did not adopt a joint stance towards the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships and said it is up to individual states to decide their positions.

Most European leaders think that sporting events should not be linked with politics, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák told the TASR newswire after the foreign affairs session of the European Council held in Brussels on May 14.

The minister was referring to recent discussion about whether European leaders should boycott attendance of football matches to be played in Ukraine (the championship is planned jointly in Ukraine and Poland from June 8 to July 1) because of the complicated political situation in Ukraine. Earlier in May, Ukraine cancelled a European summit scheduled for Yalta after most participants refused to attend in reaction to the treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed opposition leader.

Lajčák stated that the EU foreign affairs leaders did not adopt a joint stance towards the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships and said it is up to individual states to decide their positions.

"Let's talk about substantial topics ... whether democratic principles are respected. Let's not mix sports and politics," Lajčák stated, as quoted by TASR, adding that Ukraine remains an important partner for the EU.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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