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Fourth Statement on Russia’s War on Ukraine and International Sport
May 4, 2023

Fourth Statement on Russia’s War on Ukraine and International Sport

The text of the following statement was agreed upon by the ministers of sport or their equivalent from the countries and individuals listed at the bottom of the statement.

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We, as Ministers and equivalent senior representatives for sport of our like-minded countries, have noted the recommended conditions of participation for individual neutral athletes and support personnel with a Russian or Belarusian passport in international sports competitions, and the accompanying press statement, published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 28 March 2023. We maintain that the Russian state, which has broken the Olympic Truce twice, must not be allowed to use sport to legitimise its barbaric and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, nor should the Belarusian state be able to use sport to legitimise its complicity in Russia’s war of aggression.

On the IOC recommendations, we are clear that while some aspects of the strong concerns we raised in our collective statement of 21 February 2023 have been addressed by the IOC, there are substantial issues remaining, not least around military connections of athletes, state funding, the definition of what constitutes teams, and on enforcement mechanisms.

We underline again that our position is not one of discrimination against individuals on the basis of their passport, and we respect the rights of all athletes to be treated without any discrimination in accordance with the Olympic Charter. We are focused on fair sporting competition as well as on ensuring that Russian and Belarusian athletes are in no way appearing as representatives of their states, as the IOC is also seeking to ensure through its recommendations.

While fully respecting the autonomy of sporting organisations, we will closely watch the implementation of the recommendations by the IOC and international sports federations over the coming weeks. If these issues are not addressed, we would expect the IOC to reconsider its approach. Signed by:

Albania: Evis Kushi, Minister of Education

Australia: The Hon Anika Wells MP, Minister for Sport

Austria: Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, Minister of Arts and Culture, Civil Service and Sport

Belgium: Ben Weyts, Vice Minister-President for Education, Sport, the Flemish Periphery, and Animal Welfare of the Flemish Government. This signature commits the Flemish Community, the French-speaking Community and the German-speaking Community of Belgium.

Bulgaria: Vessela Letcheva, Minister of Youth and Sports

Canada: The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport

Croatia: Dr. Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sport

Cyprus: Prodromos Prodromou, Minister of Education, Sport and Youth

Czech Republic: Jaroslav Miller, Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Sports; Ondřej Šebek, President of the National Sports Agency

Denmark: Jakob Engel-Schmidt, Minister of Culture

Estonia: Heidy Purga, Minister of Culture

Finland: Petri Honkonen, Minister of Science and Culture

France: Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Germany: Mahmut Özdemir MP, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

Greece: Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport

Iceland: Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Education and Children

Ireland: Thomas Byrne, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education

Italy: Andrea Abodi, Minister for Sport and Youth

Japan: H.E. NAGAOKA Keiko, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Republic of Korea: H.E. PARK Bo Gyoon, Minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism

Latvia: Anda Čakša, Minister of Education and Science

Liechtenstein: Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport

Lithuania: Dr. Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Minister of Education, Science and Sport

Luxembourg: Georges Engel, Minister of Sport

Netherlands: Conny Helder, Minister for Long-term Care and Sport

New Zealand: Hon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation

Norway: Anette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality

Poland: Kamil Bortniczuk, Minister of Sport and Tourism

Portugal: João Paulo Correia, Secretary of State for Youth and Sport

Slovakia: Ján Horecký, Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic

Slovenia: Matjaž Han, Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport

Spain: Miquel Octavi Iceta i Llorens, Minister of Culture and Sport

Sweden: Jakob Forssmed, Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health

Ukraine: Vadym Guttsait, Minister for Youth and Sports of Ukraine

United Kingdom: The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

United States of America: Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ECA-Press@state.gov.