The British government will boycott the Winter Paralympics in Sochi over host Russia’s military action in Ukraine, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
The British premier on Sunday said he and Foreign Secretary William Hague thought it would be “wrong” for ministers to go to the Games, which start on Friday, given the unfolding events in nearby Ukraine.
Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son, Prince Edward, who is patron of the British Paralympic Association, “has, on the advice of government, cancelled a planned visit to Russia” to attend the Games.
- The Royal Opera House Reopens After Decades Of Neglect: Here’s A Quick Tour
- Tata Sons Rubbishes Cyrus Mistry’s Allegations: Here’s What Happened
- Pakistan High Commissioner denies allegations leveled on his staffer for espionage activities
- Odisha: Villagers Refuse To Cremate Dalit Woman’s Body
- Here’s What Farhan Akhtar Said On Karan Johar-MNS ‘Deal’ Over Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s Release
- Government’s Diwali Gift to Central Government Employees, Pensioners
- Bigg Boss 10 26th October Review: This Episode Is All About Fights
- New Zealand Beat India By 19 Runs In Ranchi; Series Levelled At 2-2
- DND Toll-Free: Noida Toll Company Moves Supreme Court Against Allahabad High Court
- British PM Theresa May Says Kashmir Is A Matter For India, Pakistan To Sort Out
- J&K: Students Suffer As Schools Along LOC Forced To Shut Amid Firing
- Jayalalithaa’s Health: AIADMK Women Supporters Continue Special Prayers For CM
- HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle First Look Video
- Fissures Remain Within Samajwadi Party: All You Need To Know
- Big Cheer For Delhi-Noida Commuters, DND Flyway Becomes Toll Free
A Downing Street spokesman said Cameron was “gravely concerned” about the situation in Ukraine. Hague is in Kiev to meet the new Ukrainian authorities, make clear London’s support for them and to urge continued restraint.
He tweeted after meeting Ukrainian political leaders that the “violation” of the former Soviet republic’s sovereignty was “unacceptable”. Hague announced earlier that Britain would not take part in preparatory meetings this week in Russia for the G8 summit, due to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in June.
“In current circumstances, the prime minister is clear that the focus of our engagement with Russia must be the situation in Ukraine, rather than other normal business,” the Downing Street spokesman said.
Ukraine warned Sunday it was on the brink of disaster and called up military reservists after Russia’s threat to invade its Western-leaning neighbour risked sparking the worst crisis since the Cold War.
“The prime minister remains gravely concerned about events in Ukraine and is determined to pursue all avenues to reduce tensions and de-escalate a very dangerous situation,” said the Downing Street spokesman.
“A stable Ukraine is in the interests of everyone. “The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine has been violated and this cannot be the way to conduct international affairs.” He added that Cameron and Hague “have also decided that it would be inappropriate for UK ministers to attend the Sochi Paralympics in current circumstances.
“The prime minister remains fully supportive of our Paralympic athletes’ participation at Sochi.”
Cameron did not attend the Sochi Winter Olympics last month, though there is no tradition of British premiers attending the Winter Games.