Kamil Bortniczuk: More than 40 countries will probably not support the participation of the Russian Federation in the 2024 Olympics
A massive boycott of the Olympic Games is possible.
Polish Sports and Tourism Minister Kamil Bortniczuk is confident that several dozen countries will unite to prevent the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Olympic Games and other major sporting events while the war in Ukraine continues.
“I am convinced that the meeting scheduled for February 10 will lead to the conclusion that more than 30 or maybe 40 sports ministers, including those from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan, will strongly reject the idea of allowing athletes from Russia and Belarus to take part in the Games," the minister said in a comment to Reuters.
According to him, a mass boycott of the Olympic Games, which will be held from July 26 to August 11, 2024 in Paris, is possible.
"I don't think we will have to make tough decisions before the Olympics, and if we boycott the Games, the coalition that we will be part of will be large enough to make the Games pointless," he added.
Yesterday, the sports ministers of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland issued a joint statement stating that any attempt by the International Olympic Committee to bring back Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete, even under a neutral flag, must be rejected.
- On January 26, the International Olympic Committee announced that it could allow Russian and Belarusian athletes who do not support the war against Ukraine to international competitions under a neutral flag.
- Ukraine, in turn, stated that it would boycott the competition, which would allow representatives of the aggressor country, and Belarus, which supports Russian aggression against Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky called for preventing Russian athletes from participating in the Paris Olympics, and this issue was the subject of his conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba accused the IOC of being ready to trample on the graves of thousands of murdered Ukrainians to return the Russians to the competition.
- The IOC called criticism of Ukraine "slanderous" and not conducive to "constructive discussion" and assured that sanctions against athletes from the Russian Federation and Belarus would continue.