He also said he hoped that sanctions against Russia will be even more tightened following Thursday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers, adding, however, that sanctions are not enough.
“There’s no other way but to shift to a total boycott of Russia. Unfortunately, it will inevitably concern sports as well. I am convinced that we have reached that line when we must take specific actions and move international sports competitions, planned in Russia, to other countries. If we cannot do that, such sports events in Russia should be jointly boycotted. Unfortunately, we must also take action against the participation of Russian athletes in international competitions,” Auštrevičius said in a statement on Tuesday.
In his words, the Sochi Winter Olympics demonstrated how Russia is using sports for its own political goals. “It has already been proven that during the Sochi Olympics, as Russian President Vladimir Putin sat proudly among spectators, Moscow was sending or supporting storm troopers and snipers who were cold-bloodedly killing innocent people during the Maidan in Kiev. And Crimea’s annexation operation was launched. We, the democratic world, swallowed that. But we cannot allow to hold global sports events, for example, 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will obviously be used for Moscow’s propaganda purposes, to be held in a country that supports terrorists, as if nothing had happened,” Auštrevičius said.