EU Sports Ministers condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine
The EU Ministers responsible for Sports, submitted a letter to the President of the International Olympic Committee Mr Thomas Bach, have expressed their concern about the deteriorating situation in Ukraine caused by the ongoing Russian war of aggression supported by Belarus. In the letter, the Ministers reiterated the requirement to exclude Russia and Belarus from all international sports activities.
The Ministers emphasise that the Olympic Charter mentions: “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”
Therefore, the Ministers urged the IOC Executive Board to reiterate its position expressed in its statement of 28th February 2022 and to invite all international sports federations to follow the principles set out in this statement. International Sports Federations and sports event organisers were recommended not to invite nor allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.
Therefore, the Ministers call upon the IOC Executive Board to reiterate its position expressed in its statement of 28th February 2022 and to invite all international sports federations to follow the principles set out in this statement.
According to the Ministers, it is a human duty to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and the safety of all participants. As the statement further mentions, if such actions are not possible, it is recommended to do everything in the power of Federations or organizers to guarantee that Russian and Belarusian athletes do not compete under the name of their countries and are only accepted as neutral entities without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.
In their letter, the Ministers give their full support to the promotion of such measures. The Ministers reiterate the position they have already expressed by signing the two statements on 8th March 2022 and on 4th July 2022, condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The Ministers encourage the international sport community through IOC to continue to show its solidarity with the people of Ukraine. In this regard, the Ministers invite IOC to reaffirm the principles contained in the 28th February recommendation to the International Sports Federations and to use all the appropriate measures to recall, that the Olympic sport movement is strongly against Russian aggression, supported by Belarus.
The letter was signed by Finland, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Ministry of Education and Culture
Tiina Kivisaari, Director, tel. +358 295 330 178, [email protected]
Juha-Pekka Suomi, Counsellor for Cultural Affairs, tel. +358 295 330 354, [email protected]