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No Sochi Olympic Boycott by Poland – Prime Minister

19:20 09.12.2013 (Last updated 11:44 10.12.2013)

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  • Sochi Olympic park

  © RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mokrushin

WARSAW, December 9 (R-Sport) – Polish politicians and government officials will not boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Monday, but admitted he had no plans to attend the opening ceremony.

Calls to boycott the Games over human rights issues have been widespread for several months, especially concerning a Russian law that limits public discussion of homosexuality. The issue was revived Sunday when German magazine Der Spiegel reported the country’s president Joachim Gauck would not visit Sochi.

Tusk, who has been Prime Minister since 2007, said he would not attend the opening ceremony - which traditionally boasts an array of world leaders - but said it should not be seen as a boycott. Poland is bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics jointly with neighboring Slovakia.

“We are not going to boycott the Olympics. I hope nothing will happen that would prompt us to make such an abrupt move,” Tusk said.

Tusk said Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski may attend.

In Germany, a spokesman for the chancellor's office refused to comment on Gauck’s decision, and insisted the country would send a high level delegation to the February 7-23 Olympics in Sochi.

“First we should create a new government and then it will be decided which representatives of the cabinet will go to Sochi to support our athletes,” Stefan Seibert said. “The most logical candidate are the Interior and Sports Ministers.”

Germany is in ongoing talks to form a government after elections in September.

Georgia, which fought a war with Russia in 2008, has said it will send athletes to Sochi but no government officials.

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