German President Boycotts Sochi Olympics

12.9.2013

By Alex Panisch

President Joachim Gauck is the first major political figure to boycott the games

Joachim Guack, the president of Germany, told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel that he is boycotting the 2014 Winter Olymipic games in Sochi, Russia. The president and former Luteran pastor who, according to Britain’s The Guardian, has declined any and all official visits to Russia since he came into office in March of 2012, is supposedly boycotting the games because of Russia’s human rights violations. Guack has repeatedly admonished Russia’s “deficit of rule of law” and “air of imperialism.”

This may also reflect Germany’s rather unfriendly relationship with Russia. With Moscow pressuring the Ukraine to snub the EU and the west in favor of strengthening ties with Russia—a move that has sparked massive protests in Kiev—Russia has already set itself at odds with Germany. Der Spiegel has learned that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and other conservatives plan on aiding Vitali Klitschko in becoming the Ukrainian opposition leader and rival candidate to current president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Guack is the first major political figure to boycott the games. British prime minister David Cameron said he will not boycott the games and so has President Barack Obama.

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