Estonian PM: Permitting Russians to take part in Olympics a direct mockery of Ukrainians

  • 2023-01-30
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas considers allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in next year's Paris Olympics to be unacceptable, because it would constitute a direct mockery of Ukrainians.

"Allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions, including the Olympics, is not only hypocritical and spineless, it is a direct mockery of all the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who have had to lose their lives in the worst crime against humanity that Europe has experienced since the end of World War II," Kallas wrote on social media.

According to the prime minister, this is also a direct mockery of all those who are risking their lives to protect not only the independence of Ukraine, but also Estonia.

"I do not see any room for compromise on this issue until Russia stops its military activities and the war criminals are brought to justice," Kallas wrote.

"Sport has always been and is still a part of politics for Russia. This connection has already been felt by almost all athletes from other countries who have had an unequal competition with clients of Russia's state-organized doping program," the prime minister added.

"Russia's military aggression tightens the ties between Russian sports, politics and propaganda. Every sports competition and every win with the participation of Russian athletes is used by Russian propaganda to show its people that Russia is still respected and welcomed in the West. This is shown as proof that talks about some kind of boycott of Russia are in reality just an illusion created by some Russophobic Western politicians," Kallas said.

She added that this also used to minimize the meaning of Russian aggression and Russia's responsibility for the genocide that the terrorist state continues to organize in Ukraine.

"Estonia has clearly and unequivocally condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine," Kallas wrote.

"One of the most important ways to make it clear to the Russian people that they need to think deeply about the legitimacy of their leaders' actions is to isolate Russia and its citizens from the West as much as possible, as long as the war continues and as long as the war criminals are heroes in the eyes of a large part of the Russian people," she added.

The prime minister also called on the governments and parliaments of all countries to support the complete isolation of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international sports events.