Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Russia – Q&A – Extract from the press briefing (13 Feb. 2024)

Q: Did the authors of the VIRGINUM report on foreign digital interference and the authors of the European report on the same subject work together on the technical elements?

A: The technical aspects of the report were compiled by French agencies and coordinated by VIGINUM. They were not shared with European institutions prior to publication, but they could lead to discussions in the coming days.

Q: A group of 80 Latvian parliamentarians urged President Macron and the French Parliament to consider denying entry to Russian and Belarusian athletes who had qualified for the Paris Olympic Games. Was the Foreign Ministry informed of this request, and is it considering the possibility of taking measures such as refusing to issue visas to these athletes?

A: We are aware of the letter you mention.

The International Olympic Committee has authorized Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games as “neutrals.” France respects the autonomy of the Olympic movement and takes note of the IOC’s decision.

It is up to national federations and the IOC to select the athletes who abide by the neutrality criteria and will therefore be authorized to compete. France will ensure that these criteria are scrupulously respected before and during the Games.

Visas will be issued in accordance with applicable law and the security measures put in place for the Games.

We join our Baltic partners in reiterating our total solidarity with Ukraine. Since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression, France has proclaimed its absolute support for Ukraine – support that we also extend to the Ukrainian athletes, in conjunction with the IOC’s Olympic solidarity ahead of the 2024 Paris Games.

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