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17 Mar, 2024 06:59

France to propose ‘Olympic ceasefire’ for Ukraine conflict – Macron

The ancient tradition of a truce during the games was originally implemented to ensure safe travel for pilgrims and athletes
France to propose ‘Olympic ceasefire’ for Ukraine conflict – Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will propose a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine during the Summer Olympic Games, set to take place in Paris between July 26 and August 11.

In an interview with Ukrainian media on Saturday, Macron was asked whether France, as the host of the games this year, will follow tradition and seek “a ceasefire during the Olympics.” The journalist was apparently referring to the Olympic Truce, a period of conflict cessation which historically began seven days before the games and ended seven days after so that the athletes could safely travel to and from the Olympics. 

“It will be requested,” the French leader responded.

“The rule of the host country is to move in step with the Olympic movement,” the French leader said when asked about his views on the situation in which Russian athletes are allowed to participate under a neutral flag. 

”This is a message of peace. We will also follow the decision of the Olympic Committee,” he added. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) originally banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing internationally, following the escalation of the military conflict in Ukraine in February 2022. Last year, however, the blanket ban was reconsidered by the organization, and conditions were set to allow individuals, but not the teams, to participate provided that they do so under a neutral flag. 

The decision prompted an outcry from Kiev, with President Vladimir Zelensky calling for a complete boycott of the games. However, Ukraine later softened its stance and permitted its athletes to compete as long as the Russians and Belarusians were only present as neutral athletes. 

While Moscow condemned the IOC’s requirements, calling them “unreasonable, legally void and excessive”,  the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, confirmed on Thursday that this year’s Olympics in Paris would not be shunned, despite the restriction. 

“We will never take the path of boycotting (the Games). We will always support our athletes,” he told RIA Novosti.

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