Belorussian and Russian Presidents Alexander Lukashenko (L) and Vladimir Putin in Sochi© RIA Novosti. Alexey Nikolsky
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SOCHI, January 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday played a friendly ice hockey match with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and hockey stars in the southern Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Putin and Lukashenko played in one team with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as well as NHL legends Pavel Bure and Vyacheslav Fetisov. Their team won 12-3.
After the two leaders played the game at the site of the Olympic hockey final, they continued talks in an informal atmosphere.
On Friday, Putin tested the ski slopes at the Olympic host city of Sochi as the city counts down to the start of the Winter Games.
Putin skied a few runs at the Laura complex for biathlon and cross-country skiing, located on the Psekhako Ridge in Krasnaya Polyana, which will host the mountain competitions when the Winter Olympics get under way on February 7.
Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov earlier said Putin would inspect all the Olympic facilities at Sochi’s mountain and coastal clusters during his visit to the city.
The Winter Olympics are the focus of intense international scrutiny and security concerns following the double suicide-bomb attacks in Volgograd, 400 miles away, in late December that killed 34 people and injured more than 60 others.
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