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Friday, March 22, 2019

U.S. Pulls Presidential Delegation To Sochi Paralympics

U.S. Pulls Presidential Delegation To Sochi Paralympics

Washington (AFP) – The United States said Monday it would not send a presidential delegation to the Winter paralympics in Sochi as part of measures drawn up to protest Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

The White House said, however, that U.S. athletes would still take part in the Games, which start Friday in the Black Sea resort used for the recent Winter Olympics.

“In addition to other measures we are taking in response to the situation in Ukraine, the United States will no longer send a presidential delegation to the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

“President Obama continues to strongly support all of the U.S. athletes who will participate in the Paralympics and wishes them great success in the Olympic competition.”

The U.S. move mirrors that of its ally Britain, which announced on Sunday it would withdraw its delegation, saying it would not be right to send government ministers to Sochi after Russian forces entered Crimea.

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

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One response to “U.S. Pulls Presidential Delegation To Sochi Paralympics”

  1. sigrid28 says:

    Forcing Putin to carry through with his social obligations, keeping 40,000 troops protecting Sochi instead of harassing the Crimea, seems like a better plan to me. Since Putin invited the world to Sochi and spent a fortune to build the site, he should be forced to be there as the host and not allowed to get out of it. Why let down our Paralympic athletes and their families, who would feel safer and more appreciated with a presidential delegation in Sochi than without? What are they? Chopped liver? Putin should be forced by all of his international invitees who have been planning on participating for eight years to carry out the role he asked for in Sochi until the very last minute of the Paralympics, instead of giving him license to go off to play war games that have no foreseeable outcome just because it suits him. Sending delegations to the Paralympics is a way of forcing Putin to be a good sport or at least a better sport than he would otherwise. The same goes for the G8 Summit. Refusing to attend sends a message, but could still give Putin the feeling that he has made his peers fear him. Attending shows him the fearlessness of the international community and its implacable reliance on diplomacy to iron out differences. The goal, in my humble opinion, should be to keep the lines of communication open and carry on, creating as we go the kind of world we would like to live in, where tolerance replaces shunning and bigotry on a global scale and intense communications take the place of war games.

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