Baltic, Polish ministers to discuss sanctions against athletes from aggressor countries

  • 2023-04-13
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Education, Science and Sport Minister Jurgita Siugzdiniene on Thursday will take part in a teleconference with the Estonian, Latvian and Polish ministers responsible for sports policy.

The ministers will discuss what steps should be taken to restrict the participation of athletes from aggressor countries in international competitions.

According to Dainoras Lukas, an adviser to Siugzdiniene, the Lithuanian minister will urge the neighboring countries' sports federations to sign joint declarations against the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions and to send them to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other federations. 

"The minister will propose to appeal to international business organizations (...) not to sponsor international competitions in which the aggressors' representatives take part," he told BNS.

In late March, IOC President Thomas Bach said that the committee had recommended to international federations and international sporting event organizers that "athletes with a Russian or a Belarusian passport must compete only as Individual Neutral Athletes".

Among other recommendations, the IOC said that "teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport cannot be considered" and that "athletes who actively support the war cannot compete". Also, Russia and Belarus remain barred from organizing international sporting events on their territory due to the sanctions.

Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic countries earlier called for maintaining the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Olympics.

On March 10, the Lithuanian parliament unanimously passed a resolution that calls for barring Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Olympic Games.