Former Czech president Klaus is against Sochi boycott


27.01.2014 19:20

Moscow - The absence of prominent foreign politicians from the February Sochi Winter Olympic Games does not have a major importance, Czech former president Vaclav Klaus said in an interview for the Russian paper Kommersant today.


Bývalý prezident Václav Klaus. ČTK Doležal Michal, ČTK

Klaus said he was afraid that the Olympics had already become a part of political games, which was not right.

Klaus said there were people who were using the Olympics for putting pressure on Russia.

However, this is not a reason for any serious concern, he added.

Critics say Russia introduced several laws that markedly worsened the conditions under which NGOs and movements focusing on human rights work. In 2013, a Russian law banning homosexuality promotion among youths took effect.

Some Western politicians, including U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck, will not visit the Sochi Olympics due to these issues.

On the other hand, Klaus's successor, President Milos Zeman, will go to Sochi.

"Why not? I was somewhat surprised because I am afraid that unlike me, who played basketball also on the international level in various countries of the world, Zeman has not paid a minute of his life to any sport," Klaus said.

"His going to Sochi has rather amused me," he added.

Klaus did not analyse in detail the Russian legislation some Westerners consider undemocratic and due to which the boycott was launched.

"I do not know how your law looks like, I will not comment on it. This is Russia's internal affair," Klaus told the paper.

"However, I distinguish between homosexualism and homosexuality. The former is an ideology, the latter a normal thing," Klaus said.

"I am against the ideology of homosexualism which I consider one of the -isms. Ideologies are dangerous in the present-day world," Klaus said.

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