Macron: Russian Flags Will Not Be Allowed at the 2024 Paris Olympics
French President Emmanuel Macron stated on Wednesday that Russian flags will not be permitted at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
This information was reported by Politico.
"It is obvious that there cannot be a Russian flag at the Games in Paris," Macron said in an interview with the French sports newspaper L'Équipe. "I believe there is a consensus on this."
Macron added that the Russian flag has "no place" at the 2024 Olympics, especially when Russia is "committing war crimes and deporting children."
Responding to questions about whether Russian athletes will be allowed to participate, Macron stated that this decision is not up to the host country but rather the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The committee will have to decide what place to give to Russian athletes, "who have sometimes trained all their lives and may also be victims" of the Kremlin regime, he said.
Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international sports competitions has sparked heated debates.
Earlier this year, the IOC recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes compete as neutrals—without a national flag or anthem—in international competitions, despite the Ukrainian government's campaign to ban them and threats of boycotts.
In July, the foreign ministers of the three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) called on the International Olympic Committee to not allow Russians and Belarusians to participate in the future Olympic Games in Paris, even in a neutral status.
The foreign ministers of the Baltic countries welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee not to extend official invitations to Russia and Belarus for the 2024 Olympics. However, they expressed deep concern about the recommendation to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in international events under a neutral flag. They consider this approach unjustified, as Russia and its ally Belarus continue to wage a brutal war against Ukraine, a sovereign Olympic Games participant.
The foreign ministers noted that in recent years, Russia has used "neutral" athletes in international competitions as part of its state propaganda. Banning the participation of Russian soldiers in these events did not prevent this abuse.