Poland backs Olympic ban for Russian and Belarusians athletes
The Baltic states and Poland oppose the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Paris 2024 Olympics, even under a neutral flag, the Latvian foreign minister has said.
At the Tokyo Olympics, Russian athletes competed under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee, not the Russian national flag.
"We all are in agreement that as long as Russia, being supported by Belarus, continues its unprovoked direct aggression against Ukraine, such a decision should not be supported as it is unacceptable," Edgar Rinkevics said in Riga on Tuesday
Rinkevics made the statement after a meeting with the foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia - Zbigniew Rau, Gabrielius Landsbergis and Urmas Reinsalu, respectively.
Rinkevics also appealed to the international community to adopt a clear and uniform position in this matter.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said last Wednesday that it had been looking at options to include Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals at the Paris 2024 Olympics, which would mean competing under the Olympic flag.
The IOC also said the Olympic Council of Asia had offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in Asia. That could potentially also include Olympic qualifying events in a situation when Russians and Belarusians are unable to compete in Europe due to various restrictions and bans as well as opposition caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak on Twitter on Monday described the IOC as promoting "violence, mass murders, destruction."
Ukraine has said that it could boycott the Games if Russian and Belarusian athletes take part.