News / Europe

    Kremlin: Politics Must Not Affect Paralympic Games

    Ukrainian paralympic athlete Grygorii Vovchinskyi shows his credential as President of the National Paralympic Committee of Ukraine Valeriy Sushkevich puts his hands to his face during a press conference in Sochi, March 7, 2014.
    Ukrainian paralympic athlete Grygorii Vovchinskyi shows his credential as President of the National Paralympic Committee of Ukraine Valeriy Sushkevich puts his hands to his face during a press conference in Sochi, March 7, 2014.
    VOA News
    Russian President Vladimir Putin told Ukraine's paralympic chief that politics and international affairs must not affect sports events such as the Paralympic Games that begin in the Russian city of Sochi on Friday, the Interfax news agency reported.

    Putin and the president of Ukraine's National Paralympic Committee Valeriy Sushkevich discussed "the fact that a sports celebration - all the more so one like the Paralympic Games - cannot and must not be under the influence of ... the international agenda or politics,'' Interfax quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

    Earlier Friday Sushkevich said Ukraine would withdraw from the Paralympic Games in Sochi if Russia escalates the military conflict in Crimea.

    He told reporters at a news conference Friday that for now, Ukraine will take part in the games despite Russia's military moves in Crimea.

    Sushkevich said he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday and asked him for peace during the games. He said Putin made no promises but added it was important that the president listened.

    The Paralympic Games for disabled athletes open Friday in Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games last month.

    Several countries have decided not to send officials to the event to protest Russia's actions in Ukraine.

    The White House announced on Monday that it had cancelled the U.S. presidential delegation to the Games, however U.S. athletes will participate.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron made a similar announcement about his nation's delegation on Sunday.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Bon from: Canada
    March 09, 2014 8:30 AM
    If the USA and Canada expect Russia to follow their rules then the USA and Canada shoul honor their treaties signed with the North American Indians and allow them to form their own country. This could result in up to half of North America being turned over to the Indians.

    by: Anonymous
    March 07, 2014 2:21 PM
    EVERYONE should pull out of the Olympics. Putin does it again, brazen childlike acts. WE the world need to send a strong message to Moscow, we will NOT tolerate your bullcrap and you WILL be held accountable for anything you do that is illegal. The war in Syria thousands killed all because Putin is protecting criminal bashar al assad from prosecution... Putin trying to get involved with civilian sex lives and how they should display themselves.... List goes on and on.... We the world will not associate with these types of behaviours.

    Lets make Putin sit by himself to watch the Paralympic games.
    Lets send him a strong message we don't tolerate his bull, and the people of Russia (who have no say) don't put up with it either.

    We must rejoice and send a strong message to Moscow you cant do these activities and get away with it.

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