Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states called on the International Olympic Committee not to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Olympic Games under a neutral flag.
The corresponding statement was published by the foreign ministries of five countries before the regular meeting of the IOC executive committee on March 28-30.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland express their regret that the IOC, on the basis of arguments about non-discrimination based on nationality, decided to change its previous position regarding the non-admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to international competitions.
"We want to emphasize that the role of the athletes is not determined by their citizenship, but by the fact that they are sponsored and supported by the authorities and companies that support the Kremlin regime - which continues the aggressive war against Ukraine, or they are directly connected to the Russian army," - the signatories note.
The statement reminds that as a result of Russian shelling, the Ukrainian sports infrastructure regularly suffers, in particular, many Ukrainian athletes were forced to flee their cities due to the war and lost the opportunity to train.
"There is no reason to depart from the regime of exclusion for Russian and Belarusian athletes, which the IOC implemented immediately after the start of full-scale war more than a year ago. We are absolutely convinced that now is not the time to open the possibility of the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to the Olympic Games in any capacity. ..
We remind you that the Russian Federation and Belarus have a tool for the return of their athletes to the international sports community - this is the termination of the aggressive war that Russia started with the cooperation of Belarus, and the restoration of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders," - notes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland .
We will remind you that earlier the Seimas of Lithuania approved a resolution calling for Russians and Belarusians to be barred from the Olympic Games.
Back in February 2023, the governments of almost 30 countries, including the host of the 2024 Olympics France, called on the International Olympic Committee to remove Russians and Belarusians from participating in the games in Paris due to problems with the clarity of the "neutrality" of athletes.