Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, commenting on the intention of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to return Russian athletes to competitions, announced the need to destroy the wall on which "Sport is out of politics" is written.
"I think one of the most interesting questions born of the war is: Are sports and culture really out of politics? I have my own answer to this question: no, they are not out of politics, and cannot be there. But now there is a big problem in sports, because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is laying the path for the return of Russian athletes to competitions. Under a neutral flag, the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee. And one of the arguments they use: aggression is aggression, but the athletes are not to blame for anything," Kuleba said during a joint live broadcast on Instagram with journalist Vadym Karpiak.
The Minister noted that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a "very tough" conversation with the IOC President.
"I realized, listening to the conversation between President Zelensky and the IOC President, that we have another wall that we did not have time to pay attention to, but which must be destroyed. And on this wall it is written: 'Sport and art are out of politics,'" the Foreign Minister said.
Kuleba stressed that 184 Ukrainian athletes and coaches were deprived of the right to take part in the Olympic competitions because they were killed by the Russian Federation.
"My question is: why does any Russian athlete after that have the right to participate in the Olympic Games?" he said.
According to the Foreign Minister, a rule should be adopted in sports and culture that an aggressor country is deprived of the right to participate in international competitions, exhibitions and projects.
"I believe that sports should accept a difficult rule, and culture as well, that a state that has committed an act of aggression against another country is deprived of the right to participate in international competitions, exhibitions and projects. The state committed aggression – everyone should pay the price: from the head of the country to the athlete," Kuleba emphasized.
As reported, on December 14, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a telephone conversation with IOC President Thomas Bach. During the conversation, Zelensky expressed his disappointment with the presence of the president of the Russian Olympic Committee at the IOC summit on November 9, with the intention of returning Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions under a neutral flag.