Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov has spoken about the 2019 European Games ©

Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyabov has insisted that Minsk's hosting of the 2019 European Games will place no unnecessary burden on the nation's finances after touring venues and approving a plan of action.

Kobyabov spoke after chairing an Organising Committee meeting in the capital city.

They claimed afterwards to have considered draft contracts related to the Games along with the sports programme, construction status and the reconstruction of sporting facilities.

A tour of venues also took place.

"Preparations for the European Games are on schedule," he was quoted as saying by the BelTA news agency.

"There is no extra burden on the country's financial system. 

"We were going to complete the sports venues regardless of the European Games. 

"But fortunately, the works are scheduled to be completed by the sporting event. 

"I believe that we have every opportunity to prepare for the European Games in the best possible way."

A full sports programme has not yet been confirmed.

Minsk was confirmed as host of the second continental-wide Games at the European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly in the city in October.

It will follow an inaugural edition in Azerbaijan capital Baku in 2015.

Minsk was awarded the European Games in October last year ©Getty Images
Minsk was awarded the European Games in October last year ©Getty Images

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the commitment to step in as host following a meeting with Janez Kocijančič, the acting President of the EOC.

EOC senior sports consultant Pierce O'Callaghan has already declared Minsk's venues "100 per cent ready" to host the Games.

A process has also begun to select volunteers from the Games out of university students across the country.

Major requirements are "friendly attitudes, diligence, willingness to help and interact, to study and work".

The strong vote of confidence from Kobyabov comes amid a period of instability in the country after a mass of anti-Government protests.

Nearly 300 people have already been detained, jailed or fined for involvement in demonstrations across the country, according to Viasna, a Minsk-based rights group.

This followed the introduction of a so called "parasite tax" on those who work fewer than 183 days a year.

Lukashenko has blamed western intelligence agencies for the unrest.

“This pertains to the attempt of our fifth column with the financial assistance of western funds and with the guidance of western intelligence services to encourage our roughnecks, who have run away from the country abroad, to destabilise the situation in Belarus," he told BelTA.

Human rights groups have already urged the EOC to use the Games as a means to help draw attention to human rights problems.