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Kremlin urges calm over IOC’s 2018 Olympic ban against Russia

Russia vows to contact the International Olympic Committee over the decision to bar its team from the 2018 Winter Olympics, because several questions need to be answered

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The Kremlin is urging everyone to tone down emotions over the IOC’s ruling to ban Russia from the Olympic Games in South Korea’s Pyeongchang in 2018.

"Now emotions should be kept down and the decisions taken by the IOC on our country should be thoroughly analyzed before making any accusations on this account," Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters, commenting on the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend membership of the Russian Olympic Committee, thus depriving the Russian team from the possibility to perform at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games under the national banner.

Russia plans to be in contact with the IOC due to the previously taken decision, the Kremlin spokesman said. "We will have to answer some questions, and for this contacts with the IOC will be need. It is necessary to determine now who will manage these contacts and how he will manage them. Some technological issues should be cleared up as well," he said.

Peskov added that before these issues are cleared up, "before our Olympic meeting is held, before our athletes form some kind of a consolidated point of view, it would be premature to present any conclusions." "The situation is serious, and it requires thorough analysis. One should not be carried away by emotions," he concluded.

That said, Peskov considers as a minor issue prosecution of officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, following the IOC decision; it is more important to protect the athletes’ interests.

"I cannot answer this question now. There is one thing I am confident about: this issue cannot be a major one. The major issue is protecting the interests of our Russian athletes. In order to protect their interests, we should first concentrate all our efforts and only then study other (issues)," he said. Asked about whether the issue of the officials’ personal responsibility will be somehow discussed, Peskov said "I cannot tell you, I don’t have this information."

Commenting on media reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin may state his opinion on the IOC decision today during scheduled public events, Peskov noted, "I don’t know; mass media should be asked about where they took [this information] from. Putin will be speaking both at the forum [the Russian Volunteer Forum in Moscow] and at the Gorky Automobile Plant [during a meeting with Gorky Automobile Plant workers in Nizhny Novgorod.] But today there is another issue. I don’t know whether the president will consider it necessary to say something [about it.]"