Latvia will first wait for Ukraine's decision in regards to Olympics

  • 2023-12-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia will first of all wait for Ukraine's own opinion and decision on further action on the issue of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) informed LETA.

Education and Science Minister Anda Caksa (New Unity) said that Latvia is currently in intensive consultations with Ukraine and other allies - the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, as well as Poland - in order to agree on a course of action in this situation.

The issue has resurfaced after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate as neutrals in next year's Paris Olympics.

The MES explains that different scenarios are now possible. One of the options that has been floated in the public arena is for the IOC to reverse its decision.

"The MES and I personally condemn the decision of the International Olympic Committee to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate as "neutral" athletes at the Paris Olympics," the MES said of the Minister's repeated publicly stated position.

Caksa says the IOC's decision is unacceptable while a brutal war continues in Europe and innocent lives are lost every day.

Caksa also wants to hear a clear opinion from the Latvian Olympic Committee (LOC) and other federations, "but most importantly - from the athletes themselves". "Personally, I believe that the IOC's decision tarnishes the Olympic ideals and values, the athletes and the highest goal of sport - fair competition! That is why we will do everything to get justice on behalf of Ukrainians and all athletes who deserve an Olympic Games that honors human achievement and is free from politics and aggression," says the Education Minister.

Caksa also notes that sport and politics have never been separate in Russia - on the contrary, they are part of propaganda.

On Monday, after the coalition meeting, when asked whether Latvian politicians could call for a boycott of the Olympics together with allied countries if an agreement was reached, New Unity politician and Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens said that politicians would make such a recommendation to the LOC. At the same time, the politician pointed out that Latvia would follow Ukraine's decision on this issue.

Aseradens stressed that such a decision by the IOC was unacceptable, given that the aggressor Russia's bloody colonial war was leading to the death of soldiers on the frontline in Ukraine, while the Olympic movement had always been for peace.