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President Putin Vows Sochi Games to Be Held 'Without Discrimination'

Published: January 17, 2014 (Issue # 1793)



  • Despite signing into law a bill forbidding the promotion of homosexuality to minors, President Putin has vowed there will be no discrimination at the coming Sochi Games.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

With three weeks to go until the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin vowed the Games would be held without any discrimination against athletes and visitors.

In June, Putin signed into law a bill forbidding the promotion of homosexuality to minors, sparking months of controversy ahead of the February 7-23 event in Sochi.

While the laws proponents argue it is aimed at protecting children from harmful influences, critics allege the move restricts freedom of speech and is part of a broader crackdown on Russias gay community.

The Games will be held in complete compliance with the Olympic Charter, without any discrimination on the basis of any characteristic, Putin said.

The Olympic Charter states that: Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.

Putin has previously said that Russia will do everything to ensure a warm welcome for Sochi guests regardless of sexual orientation.

Russia's Interior Ministry, which controls the police, has vowed to enforce the controversial anti-gay law at the Olympics. There will also be tight restrictions on protests, which are confined to a park in a small town that lies more than 12 kilometers from any Olympic venues.

Implementing the protest zone also complies with the Olympic charter, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said last week.

U.S. President Barack Obama will not attend the Games, and his nomination of two gay former athletes to America's Olympic delegation has been widely interpreted as a comment on the Russian law.

See also:

Putin Offers Assurances on Gay Rights at Sochi Olympics

Sochi Asks IOC to Help Stop Gay Law 'Speculation





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, July 31


Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Womens Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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