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Putin: Calls to boycott Olympics - remnant of old way of thinking

January 19, 2014, 15:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 19, 15:32 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that calls to boycott the Olympic Games are an attempt of restraint and a remnant of the old way of thinking.

“I do not think that these are manifestations of the “cold war”, but it is a demonstration of competition,” he told Russian and foreign journalists.

Speaking of homosexuality in the context of claims to Russia, Putin said homosexuality was a criminal offence in 70 countries, including the United States. “It is still a criminal offence in some states of the United States, for instance in Texas,” he said. “So what, shouldn’t we hold any international competitions there? Why does nobody speak about this and why do they speak about us, though we do not have criminal liability for this. What is this, if not an attempt to restrain? This is a remnant of the previous, old way of thinking and this is bad.”

“It is even worse when it comes to major sports events, especially the Olympic Games. I know what many top U.S. politicians whom I respect and who are respected across the world think. They believe that the boycott of the Moscow Olympics, for all the serious grounds it had — I mean the introduction of Soviet troops in Afghanistan — was a great mistake even in those circumstances,” Putin added.

“Indeed, any major international competition, and Olympic Games first and foremost, are intended to depoliticise the most pressing international issues and open up new ways to build bridges. It is unwise to miss such opportunities, and it is far more unwise to burn such bridges,” Putin said.

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