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Russia rejects isolating itself from global sports, minister says

Oleg Matytsin stressed that for the first time in 30 years, Russia has managed to revive the Spartakiad tournaments movement

VLADIVOSTOK, September 7. /TASS/. Russia is a self-sufficient sports power boasting tremendous resources and has no intentions of isolating itself from this field internationally, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said on Wednesday.

"We keep extending invitations to come here and hold negotiations with our colleagues from BRICS and the SCO with the aim of hosting tournaments and bilateral meetings," Matytsin said, speaking at the 2022 Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

"It is necessary to utilize all formats of our athletes’ participation and to observe the basic principles of Olympism. We are not isolating ourselves," he continued. "Our president’s stance is that we are a self-sufficient sports power boasting tremendous resources."

"For the first time in 30 years, we’ve managed to revive the Spartakiad tournaments movement," Matytsin noted. "Shaping a competitive atmosphere is a very important impetus for the development and popularization of this system. We will be organizing them every four years."

"The government made a decision on providing financial incentives not only for athletes, but for their coaches as well. I believe that the president will support an initiative of extra bonuses for participation and medals in these competitions," the Russian sports minister added.

On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.

Early last month, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with Germany’s Sport Bild that it was still too early to alter the IOC's February recommendations regarding Russia and Belarus. He said in particular "We still do not recommend inviting athletes from Russia and Belarus to tournaments. They still have no anthems, no flags, and no national colors."

Organized by the Roscongress Foundation, the Seventh Eastern Economic Forum is running from September 5 to September 8 in Vladivostok. TASS is the event’s general information partner and its official photohost agency. This year, the theme of the forum is: "On the Path to a Multipolar World."