Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Georgian Government issues statement on upcoming Sochi Olympiad

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If Georgia is convinced that the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi are being "over-politicized" and deliberately used against Georgia, the government will make relevant political decisions to protect the dignity and the interests of the country and its citizens, a statement released by the Georgian government on 7 October on the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi says. According to the statement, the Georgian side's will is to depoliticize the Olympic Games, however, according tot he Georgian officials, the Russian side is using the Games for political goals.

The statement of the Georgian government is as follows:

"Everyone understands that making the decision on Georgia's olympic team's participation in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi was difficult against the background of the occupation of Georgia's regions. Despite this, the Georgian Olympic Committee expressed its goodwill, with support of the Georgian government, and, considering the importance of gradual settlement of the relations between Georgia and Russia, decided to participate in the Olympic Games in Sochi.

We used to think, and we still think that regulation of relations between our states is extremely important for the citizens of both countries. On this difficult road, it is necessary to find the spheres of relations that are less controversial and less related to main problems between Russia and Georgia. We consider culture, trade, transport links, tourism and sport as such spheres.

Unfortunately, Georgia's goodwill has not been duly appreciated and we are noticing the opposite trends. When our wish is to depoliticize Olympic Games and to participate in healthy sports competition, because the idea of Olympic Games serves cooperation and peace, the other side is trying to use it for its political goals.

There can be no other explanation to the fact that Russia chose "hero pilot of 2008 August war" as one of the Olympic torch bearers. It is every country's sovereign right to select its heros, but it is also obvious that the country, willing to normalize relations with the neighboring state, will not behave so provocatively.

The fact that the problems related to the Sochi Olympiad and the occupation line have especially deteriorated with the approach of the date of Presidential Elections in Georgia is not out of the attention of the Georgian government and it is working closely with the international community – with the partner states and the international organizations - in this regard. At the same time, the Georgian government reiterates that it adheres to its gradual course of normalizing relations with Russia.

Taking all these into account, from today onwards, we will watch closely the Sochi Olympics organizational events. If Georgia is convinced that the games are over-politicized and deliberately used against Georgia, the Georgian government will make relevant political decisions to protect the dignity and the interests of the country and its citizens. We hope, that the International Olympic Committee officials and the governments of the participant states will pay due attention to such important topics."

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