Dmitry Medvedev says the Russian state will do everything to help Lokomotiv Yaroslavl return to high-level hockey after their main squad was lost in a fatal plane crash last week.
The Russian president has held a meeting with the Lokomotiv administration and officials from the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) to discuss the future of what was one of the leading teams in Russian hockey.
“The purpose of our meeting, as I see it, is to determine how to support the families and relatives of those who died and fulfill all obligations arising from the law and the contracts that were signed, which, of course, has to be done faithfully and in the terms provided by the relevant contracts and legislation,” Medvedev said.
The leader of the Russian Federation stressed that “we need to think about how to revive the club,” but this has to be done “tactfully and effectively, at the same time.”
“For my part I would say that it’s very tough tragedy, and in such circumstances, the state will do everything to support the club, maintain the traditions that have evolved here over the last years, which created such a brilliant team, of whom it’s very painful to speak in past tense,” the president concluded.
Lokomotiv administration has already announced that it will be missing this year’s KHL season, but plan to field a new team for the 2012/13 championship.
The Yak-42 aircraft, carrying the players, coaches and Lokomotiv team’s personnel, crashed immediately after takeoff from Tunoshna Airport in the Yaroslavl Region on September 7.
Thirty-six team members were killed instantly, while the only player to survive the crash – 26-year-old Aleksandr Galimov – passed away in a Moscow hospital on Monday, September 12.