Today, the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) participated in the work of the Summer plenary session of the PACE in Strasbourg, France, where one of the key topics was the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
The PACE adopted a Resolution in which it calls on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prohibit the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games and all other major sporting events as long as Russia’s war of aggression continues.
In her speech before the Assembly, Head of the Estonian delegation to PACE Liisa Pakosta demanded full support for Ukrainian people and banning of the Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from the Olympic Games. She urged the national IOC representatives, the sports public and sports federations to express their opposition to the IOC’s proposal to allow the athletes of the aggressor state to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games.
“The Ukrainian fight for freedom is our fight. The murdered Ukrainian children are our children. This should not be forgotten or overlooked, and our response to the Russian war of aggression must also be in force at the Paris Olympic Games,” Pakosta said.
She added that Russia continued to use sport for propaganda purposes, and pointed out that many Russian and Belarusian athletes had publicly expressed their support for the war. She reminded her colleagues that just a few days before President of the Russian Wrestling Federation, Mr Mikhail Mamiashvili, had expressed his readiness to drive the Russian team to the Paris Olympics on tanks. “We have to tell him, “You are not welcome; please stay home with your tanks”,” she said. “Silence and neutrality about the issue of the participation of the Russian and Belarusian athletes is the same as spreading Russia’s hostile propaganda and means supporting of Putin,” the Head of the Estonian delegation added.
Besides Liisa Pakosta, members of the Estonian delegation Aleksei Jevgrafov and Eerik-Niiles Kross also attended the PACE session.
PACE is the oldest international parliamentary assembly in Europe that held its opening session on 10 August 1949. This year, Estonia celebrates the 30th anniversary of its membership in the PACE. Estonia became a member of the Council of Europe on 14 May 1993.
The task of the Council of Europe is to protect the fundamental values of its member states – human rights, the principle of the rule of law, and democracy.
Riigikogu Press Service
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