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The Nordic Olympic Committees released a joint statement opposing the participation of the Russian and Belarusian athletes in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, Reuters reported on Feb. 7.
"Now is not the right time to consider their return; that is our position," the joint statement by the committees in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway said.
The opposition comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it intends to let Russian and Belarusian athletes participate in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag on Jan. 25.
Earlier on Feb. 7, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo also opposed the decision, saying these athletes shouldn’t compete “as long as there is war” against Ukraine.
The IOC's decision caused a backlash from Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the tension between war and the Olympic principles in a Jan. 28 statement, saying, “Russia must stop its aggression and terror” before participation can be considered.
Since then, Ukraine has sent letters encouraging large international companies sponsoring the Olympics to oppose the IOC’s decision. According to Reuters, the Baltic countries and Poland have also supported the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes’ participation.