January 25, 2022

Putin denounces “attempts to politicize sport” in appeal with Chinese leader Xi

The Games, which take place in February, became embroiled in an international feud after the Biden administration confirmed last week that the United States would be carrying out a diplomatic boycott of the centerpiece.

Other countries, including Britain and Canada, have since followed suit over concerns over alleged human rights violations in China, including alleged forced labor and sterilization of Uyghurs in the north. from the country.

This has led China to warn of the repercussions of boycotts. Putin, who accepted an invitation from Xi to attend the Games, which will allow him to avoid a ban imposed following a World Anti-Doping Agency ruling on Russia, said he expected that the event succeeds.

“I have no doubt that the next Olympic Winter Games will be held at the highest level”, Putin said in a video meeting with Xi, who called the Russian leader a ” old friend “.

“China knows how to do it. [This includes] the rejection of any attempt to politicize sport and the Olympic movement. “

French leader Emmanuel Macron called the impact of diplomatic boycotts “questionable”, and Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Monday: “Politicizing sporting events like the Olympic Winter Games does not seem useful to me. “

Putin and Xi clearly agree with these views. “I hope that next February we will finally be able to meet in person in Beijing”, Putin told Xi, describing him as a «Ami» and ” distinct “.

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“As agreed, we will hold negotiations with you and then participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games. “

Putin said he was grateful for being invited to attend the opening ceremony he initially revealed he intended to accept during a speech at a business summit. End of november.

He also noted a close sporting bond between the countries and called their global relations “A true model of interstate cooperation for the 21st century”.

“The close coordination between Russia and China in the international arena – the responsible joint approach to solving urgent global problems – has become a stabilizing factor in international affairs”, he said.

The talks took place a week after Putin spoke to US President Biden about the current situation between Russia and Ukraine. A Kremlin spokesman said Putin intends to discuss the matter with Xi as “Allies”.