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Ideas of Olympism correct, but IOC violates them by barring Russia, says Putin

According to the Russian leader, international sports officials "keep politicizing sports themselves and this is inadmissible"

HARBIN, May 17. /TASS/. The ideals of the Olympic Movement are worthwhile, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is violating them by barring Russia from international sports competitions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

"The principles of Olympism, including the Olympic Truce, are very much correct," he said. "It is no accident that they have been shaped up by the global community in the course of centuries."

"However, not many adhered to this principle except for the Ancient Greeks. But this idea is very correct and constructive on the whole," Putin stated. "However, the issue at hand is that international sports officials are breaching these principles today and violate the core nature of the Olympic Charter. They keep politicizing sports themselves and this is inadmissible."

In this way, the Russian president continued, international sports officials are violating the Olympic Charter principles regarding Russia by banning the country’s national athletes from taking part in the Olympic Games under the colors of their national flag and to the tune of the Russian national anthem.

"That's something that would not occur to anyone. Does it comply with any basic standards of fairness? Nothing like that," the Russian president continued.

"They violated it [on their own part], and they demand now that we do the same. But, dear friends, we will not go this far. No one will ever come to an agreement on such issues," he said.

The Russian president said that if you want something from someone else, you should first be willing to do it yourself.

"On the whole, sports is undoubtedly on the rise and keeps developing," he said. "I have no clue how the Olympic Movement members feel under present-day circumstances.

"If they keep focusing on money as their main target, just like in any commercial enterprise, with the aim to make a profit, nothing good will come out for the Olympic Movement any time soon," Putin stated.

"It [the Olympic Movement] simply turned into a commercial corporation," the Russian president noted.

"Everything is now built on earning money from sponsors, from big news companies for broadcasting," Putin said. "It's a whole enterprise aimed at profiting from sports competitions. However, the principle of Olympism is about other values, it is about humanitarian principles."

Earlier in the day, Putin discussed the issue of instituting an Olympic truce ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Asked by a TASS correspondent whether French President Emmanuel Macron’s previously voiced initiative on the matter was raised at the Russian president’s meeting with Xi Jinping, Putin answered in the affirmative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris earlier this month that Beijing supported the initiative of the Olympic truce for the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be hosted by the French capital of Paris between July 26 and August 11.

The tradition of the Olympic Truce goes back to 8th century BC in ancient Greece, when all athletes and relevant persons were guaranteed safe arrival, access and participation during the Games. The International Olympic Committee officially revived the tradition in 1992 and the following year the UN General Assembly supported the move.