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24 Feb, 2022 14:18

IOC claims Russia has broken UN-backed Olympic Truce

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has "strongly condemned" Russia
IOC claims Russia has broken UN-backed Olympic Truce

Russia has violated the Olympic Truce with its military operation in Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has claimed while announcing that it will attempt to provide "humanitarian assistance" to athletes in the country.

The Olympic Truce started seven days before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and runs until seven days after the end of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics on March 20.

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has renewed its support for the truce every two years by adopting a resolution before each edition of Games in which organizers hail the ideal of "building a peaceful and better world through sport".

Speaking at the Games, which ended on Friday, IOC president Thomas Bach called on all participating nations to "give peace a chance".

Bach's organization has now said it is "deeply concerned" about members of the Olympic community in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation to begin.

"The IOC strongly condemns Russia's violation of the Olympic Truce," the IOC said in a statement, adding that the resolution was upheld by all 193 UN member states in a vote in December.

"A working group has been established to closely monitor the situation and co-ordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic community in Ukraine, where possible.”

The UN calls the truce, which is said to date from the ninth century BC, the “longest lasting peace accord in history”.

Israel and North Korea are the only two countries who have typically not signed it, although 20 countries reportedly opted out before the Beijing Games.

Australia, the US, India and Japan were among the countries not to join in as a protest against alleged human rights violations by China, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

That move came before US President Joe Biden's administration joined Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government in announcing a boycott of the Winter Olympics over the allegations.

The International Paralympic Committee is in dialogue with the Russian and Ukrainian Paralympic Committees ahead of the start of the Paralympics on March 4, according to Inside the Games.