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    Baltic States and Poland oppose IOC’s decision on participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in next Olympics 

    The Baltic states and Poland have expressed disapproval of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) plan to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, with Ukraine requesting a complete ban on their participation. These countries have deemed the proposal “immoral and wrong.”

    “Decision by the Olympics Games to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the next Olympics is immoral and wrong. Russia continues its war against Ukraine, it must be isolated. As all tyrannies it uses sports for political purpose. IOC should not become complicit in Russian propaganda efforts,”

    Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted on January 28. 

    Ukrainian President invites Mr Bach to Bakhmut

    The day before (Jen 27), the Ukrainian President posted a video on Twitter inviting Mr Bach to Bakhmut concerning the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision on allowing Russian and Belarussian athletes to take part in Olympic Games in Paris. 

    “We know how often tyrannies try to use sports for their ideological interests. It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood. I invite Mr Bach to Bakhmut. So that he could see with his own eyes that neutrality does not exist,”  

    Volodymyr Zelensky wrote.

    “Olympic principles and war fundamentally oppose each other. Russia must stop aggression and terror, and only after it will be possible to talk about Russian participation in the Olympic movement,”

    he added.

    Latvia will boycott the Olympics

    The Latvian Olympic Committee joined the Ukrainian call for a boycott of the Paris Games if only Russian athletes are allowed to take part. 

    “Latvia will not participate in the Games together with the aggressor country,”

    the Committee’s president Zorzs Tikmers told Latvia’s LTV1. 

    The front of rejection of Russia and Belarus has officially widened in recent days. with the three Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and Poland speaking out against the presence of Russians and Belarusians at the Olympics.

    Poland also opposes

    Last week, Polish Minister of Sport and Tourism Kamil Bortniczuk announced his intention to create a collation against the participation of the national teams of Russia and Belarus in the Olympics Games in Paris. 

    What is more, the Polish Olympic Committee (PKOI) also referred to the whole situation.

    “Andrzej Kraśnicki – president of the PKOl – reports that in his opinion, until the barbaric war in Ukraine is over, no Russian or Belarusian athlete should take part in any international competition – including the Olympic Games,”

    one can read. 

    “The PKOl has been, is and will continue to be in solidarity with Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, and athletes. Our position is consistent with that of Poland and the Polish authorities. The decision of the International Olympic Committee to allow athletes of these countries to compete in sports – taking into account the requirements set by the IOC – is a decision of the IOC Executive Committee, i.e., the strict leadership of the IOC,”

    PKOI adds.

    In Estonia, however, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that allowing Russians to compete is “politically and morally wrong.” 

    “Disappointed by Olympics decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to attend 2024 Paris games. Politically and morally wrong – time to strengthen isolation, not give in to Russia. Sport is a tool in Russia’s propaganda machine, ignoring that means siding with aggression,”

    Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas wrote on Twitter.

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