SEOUL, February 6. /TASS/. Seoul is grateful to Moscow for allowing Russian athletes to take part in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, Chairman of the South Korean Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation Song Young-gil said on Tuesday at a reception dedicated to the Diplomat’s Day marked on February 10.
"Recently, the IOC made a decision, which we regret, that Russian athletes cannot participate on behalf of the Russian Federation," he said. According to Song Young-gil, South Korea is very grateful to Russia for not boycotting the Games and allowing its athletes to compete as neutrals.
"We very much appreciate this wise decision," Song Young-gil said, adding that South Korea was determined to provide support to athletes from Russia.
He also expressed hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin would attend the closing ceremony of the Games.
On December 5, 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee, banning the national team from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea. The IOC accused Russia of systematic violations of anti-doping rules, particularly during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. At the same time, the IOC allowed clean athletes to participate in the upcoming games as "Olympic Athletes of Russia." A total of 168 athletes from Russia are going to compete at the Games.