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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





 


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Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.