In a joint statement, ministers responsible for sports reiterated the importance of human rights and peaceful relations in international sports

  • 2022-07-05

In her role as the Minister of Culture, Liina Kersna signed a joint statement with 34 sports ministers and senior officials, which once again calls on international sports associations to ban the participation of Russia and Belarus in international sports organizations and recognizes those that have already done so.

The statement emphasizes that Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, which is enabled by the Belarusian government, is unacceptable and a serious violation of Russia's international obligations.

"International sport is not separated from politics at the moment, and Russia and Belarus use sport to achieve their strategic goals. With the joint statement, we send a clear signal that agressors are not welcome on the same sports fields and competitions as us," said Liina Kersna in her role as Minister of Culture.

The signatory countries emphasize that, although sports organizations are autonomous, the membership of national sports organizations of Russia and Belarus in international associations should be suspended. In addition, individuals with close ties to Russia and Belarus, including government officials, should be removed from influential positions in international sports federations, such as boards and organizing committees. It is also emphasized that national and international sports organizations should stop broadcasting sports competitions in Russia and Belarus.

The joint statement states that if any sports organization has allowed competitors from Russia and Belarus to participate in their competitions, it should be clear that they do not represent Russia or Belarus. Among other things, any use of symbols of Russia and Belarus should be prohibited.

The signatories call on the international sports community to continue to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine by supporting, where possible, the continuation and restoration of Ukrainian sports.

25 European Union countries and Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States have joined the statement.

The full text of the statement can be found on the website of the Ministry of Culture.

An earlier similar statement can be read on the website of the Ministry of Culture.