At a meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from many tournaments.
“One must not allow a terrorist state to use sport to promote its political interests and propaganda,” Zelenskyy said in a statement.
He is grateful to Bach for his “unshakeable position” on the subject. “While Russia is trying to destroy the Ukrainian people and conquer other countries in Europe, its representatives have no place in the world sports community,” Zelenskyy said.
The president described the Russian war of aggression against his country as a “brutal blow” to Ukrainian sport. “More than 100,000 Ukrainian athletes have no opportunity to train and hundreds of sports facilities are being destroyed,” said Zelenskyy.
Bach assures solidarity
Bach assured the solidarity of the International Olympic Committee with Ukraine.
“They are not alone in their needs, we are by their side, we stand by them and support them with heart, soul, thought and deeds. We support them in such a way that we can build a strong, successful, proud Ukrainian Olympic national team the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina,” said the German IOC President, according to the announcement.
According to him, the IOC has tripled a support fund to 7.5 million US dollars (around 7.2 million euros). This could support more than 3000 members of the Olympic Movement and Olympic athletes in Ukraine and abroad.