Ukraine, Poland, Baltic states urge IOC not to admit Russians and Belarusians
Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland appealed to the International Olympic Committee with a joint statement about not admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to international sports competitions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on Monday.
The next meeting of the IOC Executive Committee will be held on March 28-30, 2023.
In this regard, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland decided to reiterate their position regarding the recent calls of the IOC to define ways of admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to competitions as "neutral".
"We wish to stress that it is not athletes’ nationality that determines their role, but the fact that they are sponsored/supported by their governments or businesses backing up the Kremlin regime, which continues its war of aggression against Ukraine, or even they are affiliated with the Russian military directly." the statement reads.
The authors of the statement reminded the IOC that every day the Russian military attacks the civil infrastructure of Ukraine, in particular sports facilities, and kills Ukrainians, including Ukrainian athletes.
"Millions of Ukrainian citizens including athletes and their families were forced to leave their homes in the face of Russia’s occupation. Many athletes from Ukraine are still prevented from participating in sport events because of Russia’s attack on their country," the statement said.
Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland stressed that there is no reason to deviate from the exclusion regime for Russian and Belarusian athletes established by the IOC more than a year ago immediately after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, the IOC advocated not allowing Russians and Belarusians to compete and noted that Russia and Belarus can choose to return athletes to the international sports community. For this, the war of aggression against Ukraine should be stopped.