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UN chief plans to attend Olympic opening ceremony in PyeongChang

January 17, 0:27 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

He refrained from commenting on the decision to bar Russian athletes from participating in those Games

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 United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

© EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

UNITED NATIONS, January 16. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he plans to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.

"In February, I will visit the Republic of Korea for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang. I hope the Olympic spirit of friendship among nations will spread across the region and beyond," he said.

He refrained from commenting on the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bar Russian athletes from participating in those Games under Russia’s national flag. Instead, he expressed the hope that these problems would be finally settled and the next Olympic Games would see full-fledged participation of Russian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision on December 5 to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee’s membership over multiple doping abuse allegations, thus banning the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang under the national flag. The IOC vowed however to observe the rights of clean athletes. Those who match the proposed criteria may be invited to the 2018 Games as "Olympic athletes from Russia," under a flag with five colored rings. The use of Russia’s national symbols and the flag’s colors will be prohibited.

The upcoming 23rd Winter Games will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

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