IOC condemns 'breach of Olympic Truce' after Russia invades Ukraine

Ukrainians living in Montenegro hold a protest against Russia's military operation in Ukraine, near the Russian Consulate in Podgorica, Montenegro February 24, 2022. REUTERS

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) condemned Russia for invading Ukraine on Thursday, saying the Russian government had breached the Olympic Truce that is currently in effect and which aims to harness the power of sport to promote peace and dialogue.

Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.

The Olympic Truce, which began seven days before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 4, ends seven days after the closing of the March 4-13 Paralympic Games.

"The International Olympic Committee strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government," it said in a statement.

"The respective UN (United Nations) resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 December 2021 by consensus of all 193 UN Member States."

The resolution calls on member states to cooperate with the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee "to use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation."

The IOC said its president Thomas Bach had reiterated his call for peace. Bach had asked the nations to "give peace a chance" at the opening ceremony earlier this month.

The IOC added it has established a task force to monitor the situation and to "coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine where possible".

Several sports governing bodies are keeping an eye on the developments in Ukraine.

European soccer's governing body UEFA will meet on Friday to discuss moving the Champions League final from the Russian city of St Petersburg.

The announcement came after a group of European lawmakers wrote to UEFA on Thursday, asking it to change the venue and to stop considering Russian cities for international football competitions.

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