Ukrainian athletes will not shake hands with Russians at competitions. Members of the International Fencing Federation have already been warned about this.
This was announced at a press conference by the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, President of the National Olympic Committee, Vadym Gutzait.
"Our athletes do not shake hands with athletes under a neutral flag who are from Russia. Yesterday, our federation had a meeting with members of the international federation and they emphasized that our athletes do not shake hands," the minister said.
According to him, today's incident was an open provocation by a Russian athlete under a neutral flag, which she used against Ukrainian fencer Olga Harlan.
"There are cases when athletes do not shake hands. They hit the blade and part. And here she (Russian woman - ed.) provoked Olga, provoked the organizing committee. Unfortunately, the organizing committee, although they knew that this would happen (they will not shake hands - ed.), they were warned, he did what he did," he clarified.
Scandal with Harlan
It will be recalled that today the title-holder fencer Olga Harlan was able to defeat the Russian Anna Smirnova in the first round of the World Championship. But later the Ukrainian was disqualified for refusing to shake hands with her opponent.
President of the Fencing Federation of Ukraine Mykhailo Ilyashev noted that Ukraine will try to appeal such a scandalous decision.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba has already reacted to the incident. He urged the tournament organizers to allow Harlan to compete.