Estonia undecided on joining diplomatic Olympics boycott

Chinese flag.
Chinese flag. Source: Pixabay

The United States and some allies have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, but the Estonian government has not yet decided if and who of Estonia's leaders will head to Beijing.

"The government has not discussed this yet," government spokesperson Sten Otsmaa told ERR on Thursday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Rainer Verner Samolberg echoed Otsmaa's statement.

Ministry of Culture spokesperson Hannus Luure told ERR that the ministry has received an invite and that Minister of Culture Tiit Terik and culture ministry sports undersecretary Tarvi Pürn could go and support Estonian athletes, but a decision has not been made yet.

Estonia's decision could also be affected by a potential EU decision, which the union could discuss at a meeting of foreign ministers next week. The European Council will also meet next week.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said in November that Estonian athletes should be able to decide if they want to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and that diplomatic boycotts should be up to politicians.

France has announced that they would not join the Beijing diplomatic boycott, however. Some think this may be because the 2024 Summer Olympics are set to take place in Paris and France fears a boycott in retaliation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that U.S. diplomats will boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing because of China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses". Australia, UK and Canada have joined the diplomatic boycott. The countries will still send athletes to the Winter Olympics.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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