Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrives in Slovakia today, officially, in the hope of lobbying the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championships for Russia.
The arrival of Putin was kept secret till the last minute, with suspicions that he would arrive for the Russia versus Canada quarter-final battle, which the Russians eventually won by 2-1 after coming back from 1-0 down.
During his visit, Putin will be meeting with PM Iveta Radicova and President Ivan Gasparovic, but these encounters will be more for reasons of protocol as his main purpose is to attend the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Congress, which will decide on the 2016 venue for the world championships.
According to the Itas-Tass news agency, Putin was supposed to have arrived last night already for the quarter-final match.
Putin will be meeting PM Radicova at 3 pm in the Government Office before joining President Gasparovic in President’s Palace. As Putin’s visit was more or less secret until the last minute, PM Radicova says she will just improvise at her brief meeting with him, as no specific topics have been raised for discussion.
Russia is bidding for the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championships against Ukraine and Denmark. If chosen, the Russian venues for the event will be Moscow and St Petersburg.