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Zelensky rejects Olympic truce call, saying it could help Russia

Published : Sunday, 19 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 118

KYIV, MAY 18: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with AFP on Friday rejected a French call for an Olympic truce this summer, saying it could just help Russia move its troops and equipment.

Zelensky said he had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron who made the appeal and told him: "Lets be honest... Emmanuel, I don believe it".

"Who can guarantee that Russia will not use this time to bring its forces to our territory?" Zelensky said, adding: "First of all, we don trust Putin".

"We are against any truce that plays into the hands of the enemy," he said.

"If its a truce, an Olympic truce for the duration of the Olympics, a land truce, they will have an advantage," he said, explaining that there was "a risk that they will bring heavy equipment to our territory and no one will be able to stop them".

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Friday also suggested that Moscow would not support the idea of a truce during the games in Paris this summer.

Asked during a visit to China whether he backed Macrons idea, Putin said: "I think these Olympic principles, including the Olympic truce are very right."

But he added: "Todays international sporting officials are themselves disobeying the principles of the Olympic charter." He accused sports bodies of "not allowing our athletes to perform at the games with our banner, flag and our national music, our anthem".

"They are committing violations against us and demand fulfilment from us. Dear friends: we won get far that way. No one has ever come to an agreement that way," Putin said. Macron had restated on Friday his idea of "an Olympic truce so that Russia ceases its current operations" in Ukraine.    —AFP







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