19:43 09 Dec 2023

"Green light to weaponize the Olympics": Ukraine's foreign ministry condemns Olympic admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympics in a neutral status erroneous.

This is stated in the official statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Friday, December 8, the IOC officially allowed Russians and Belarusians to compete in neutral status at the 2024 Summer Olympics. The executive board approved the organization's corresponding decision.

Athletes from the Russian Federation and Belarus can compete in Paris only as "neutrals." At the same time, using state symbols of these countries is prohibited, as is the participation of members of the armed forces of the two states in tournaments.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by its decision, the IOC admitted to the Olympics athletes who participate in aggression against Ukraine, representing the armed forces of their countries.

"Belarusian and especially Russian athletes often represent sports organizations associated with the armed forces of the Russian Federation. Some of them are on active duty in the Russian military, and some of them wear symbols of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine on their sports uniforms. The IOC is planning to allow athletes to compete at international sports arenas who not only sympathize with the murders of Ukrainian women and children but are likely to be directly involved in these terrible crimes," the statement reads.

The Ministry noted that the members of the IOC Executive Committee, who decided to admit Russians and Belarusians, "are responsible for encouraging Russia and Belarus to continue armed aggression against Ukraine."

"According to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, the International Olympic Committee has effectively given Russia the green light to weaponize the Olympics. There is no doubt that the Kremlin will use every Russian and Belarusian athlete as a weapon in its propaganda warfare."

The decision of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee to allow Russians and Belarusians to participate in the 2024 Olympics in neutral status is irresponsible. This was stated by acting Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Matvyi Bidnyi.

"Just a few days ago, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, announced that the IOC will make a relevant decision only in March of next year," the message reads.

Bidnyi reported that Ukraine, for its part, explained to international partners and the Olympic Committee that Russian athletes have the same passports as the occupiers who are killing Ukrainians. And this means that they bear part of the responsibility for the deaths of Ukrainians. Bidnyi reported that Ukraine strongly condemns the irresponsible decision of the members of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee. He stated that the only state that violated the Olympic truce three times was the Russian Federation. Also, the Russian Federation is trying to hold an alternative to the Olympics and threatens to come to the sporting event on tanks.

"What else does Russia have to do – who else does Russia have to kill so that the International Olympic Committee finally takes off its rose-colored glasses regarding the terrorist country?" – the statement reads.


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