Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus
With a deep concern the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus perceived on the eve of the 28th Olympic Games the information that the head of the Belarusian Olympic delegation, the Minister of Sports and Tourism Mr. Yuri Sivakov was denied entrance to Greece.
The Belarusian side with resentment views the attempt to use the upcoming competitions in Athens, the cradle of the Olympic movement, as the arena for political games.
The Belarusian side does not see any reasons or grounds for denial of entrance to Greece for the head of the Belarusian Olympic delegation. Neither in the statement of the Dutch Presidency of the European Union, nor in the statement of the press-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece there are any convincing facts, and even more so, any evidences of unlawful activities of the head of Belarusian Olympic delegation.
Use of the framework of the Olympic games for further strengthening of the political pressure on the Republic of Belarus is counterproductive and is not conductive to the restoration of the political dialog with the European Union.
We consider such unfriendly actions towards the Belarusian Olympic delegation exceptionally negatively, and as an explicit and gross violation of all principles of the Olympic movement, contradictory both to the Olympic spirit and to the norms of international relations. There may be some serious fears that politically motivated statements and actions of the member states of the European Union may cause a split in the international Olympic movement.
Belarusian side urges the member states of the European Union and the states that associated themselves with the statement of the EU Presidency, to re-consider without delay the adopted decisions regarding the head of the Belarusian delegation to the Athens and to reject the policy of pressure and blackmail towards the Republic of Belarus.
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