Belarus spends $130m on European Games not $50m as Lukashenka promised

Speaking in the parliament on Wednesday, Finance Minister Maksim Yermalovich said a total of 540 million Belarusian rubles (BYN)  (nearly $265 million) was spent to organize the 2nd European Games in Minsk. The amount includes 266 million BYN ($130 million) from the public budget, according to the minister.

Back in November 2016, Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka was very optimistic in his forecast of the expected expenses. Meeting with workers at a state factory in Mahilou, he mentioned ‘foreign tourists who will bring money during the Games.’

"We have calculated that we will even make money on ‘the Olympics,,” the state leader said in November 2016. “We will need to spend about $50 million which is nothing for the country. We will just have to tidy everything up. Maybe we will not even need to do it.”

Azerbaijan spent $100 million on the organization of the I European Games 2015 in Baku, he noted. “We will not spend as much,” Lukashenka promised.