Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a possible US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China would be “negative” after Joe Biden announced that he was “considering” the move.
Moscow officials announced that they disapproved of any boycott of the Games which are set to take place in the Chinese capital of Beijing in February 2022, after President Biden revealed that the move was “something we’re considering” and was being discussed at a high governmental level.
Speaking at a press event on Friday in Moscow, Peskov said Russia would disapprove of such a move following a report this week by the Washington Post saying that a diplomatic boycott – meaning that state officials would not attend the event – is possible.
This follows similar concerns from politicians from Canada, Norway and in the US regarding the perceived human rights abuses by China towards of ethnic Uyghurs.
The US had previously undertaken an entire sporting boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980 – with the 1984 Games in Los Angeles seeing a total of 14 eastern bloc countries skipping the event.
It was reported that the issue of the potential boycott wasn’t raised during President Biden’s three-and-a-half-hour diplomatic conversation with President Xi Jinping on Monday.
Beijing will open its doors for the Winter Games between February 4 and 20 next year, with the Paralympic Winter Games scheduled to take place a month later on March 4.
The Chinese capital was selected as the host city at the 128th session of the International Olympic Council (IOC), meaning that Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (2008) and next year’s Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The vote to award the Games to Beijing was a tightly-contested affair, with Kazakhstan’s Almaty losing out by 44 votes to 40.