Sport should not be used for political purposes – Putin – RT Sport News

The Russian leader highlighted cooperation with China, urging sport to be a force for « joy and unity ».

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against using sport for political purposes, praising the organization of events with China during a call with Xi Jinping on Friday.

“Recently, the Third Russian-Chinese Youth Winter Games ended in Changchun,” said Putin, quoted by RIA Novosti. « This is one of the central events within the framework of years of ongoing cooperation between Russia and China in the field of physical culture and sports.

« The games were staged at the highest level and once again confirmed that sport is universal and that international competitions should give people joy and a sense of unity, and not be used for momentary political ends. « , Putin added.

Putin and Xi discussed various aspects of bilateral ties during their video call, with the Russian leader inviting the Chinese president to hold an in-person meeting in Moscow next year. In February, Putin was among the guests when China hosted the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The Russian leader’s comments on Friday come as his country’s athletes find themselves banned from a wide range of competitions due to the conflict in Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) initially recommended on February 28 that sports federations not invite Russian and Belarusian competitors to world events.

In a potential change to that position, the IOC said after a summit in December that it would explore proposals for athletes from both countries to return to competitions held under the auspices of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). This could potentially pave the way for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be cleared in time for qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Russian figures, including Putin, have consistently denounced the sanctions imposed on national athletes as discriminatory and undermining the principle that sport is free from the influence of politics. Speaking in March, Putin accused the IOC of « trampling » on its own values ​​by removing the right for Russian athletes to compete.

Russian sports heroes of 2022

In the face of Western-imposed sanctions, Russian officials have increasingly spoken of developing sporting ties with the BRICS, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) groups of nations. OCS) – the latter being the largest in the world. largest regional bloc.

Putin suggested at an SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in September that the organization could establish a formal association of sports federations to facilitate ties between members. Elsewhere, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko noted that the SCO has a potential audience of billions among its members.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said earlier this month after a video meeting with his Chinese colleagues that the two nations were to hold more than 600 joint events in 2023 under a new agreement.


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