PACE Calls for Ban on Russian and Belarusian Athletes at Olympics
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted several resolutions in support of Ukraine, including measures to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games and endorsing the "peace formula" and Ukraine's membership in NATO.
The resolutions were passed during the plenary session of the summer session held in Strasbourg on June 22, as reported on the assembly's official website.
PACE urged the International Olympic Committee to reconsider its position and ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, as well as other major sporting events, citing the ongoing aggression and the potential for propaganda exploitation. The participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes was deemed "unthinkable" under the current circumstances and would hinder the participation of other athletes, including those from Ukraine. Given that elite athletes from Russia and Belarus often receive state salaries and are part of military-sports teams, PACE concluded that it is highly unlikely for them to demonstrate neutrality and distance from these regimes.
Furthermore, PACE passed a resolution titled "Political Consequences of Russia's Aggression against Ukraine," calling on Council of Europe member states that are also NATO members to support Ukraine's membership in the Alliance. The resolution emphasized PACE's endorsement of President Volodymyr Zelensky's "peace formula" and urged countries that have frozen Russian assets to establish an international mechanism for compensation, utilizing the confiscated funds to promptly compensate Ukraine for its war-related losses.
Additionally, parliamentarians proposed designating the private military company "Wagner" and the forces led by Ramzan Kadyrov as terrorist organizations, while holding all military and militarized groups involved in Russia's aggression against Ukraine accountable.
PACE also called on Council of Europe members, observer states, and the European Union to establish a public register of organizations and individuals working in favor of Russia, as well as a register of companies and individuals evading sanctions.
The resolution stressed the need to establish "strategic European economic autonomy" from Russian oil and gas, which Russia utilizes for imperial geopolitical purposes. It also called for measures to reduce the resale of Russian oil and gas to Europe through third countries to address the issue of sanction evasion.
As reported by The Gaze, the governments of the European Union approved the 11th package of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, aimed at preventing other countries and companies from circumventing existing measures.