German Foreign Minister Baerbock Will Not Attend 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing
08:47 GMT 29.12.2021 (Updated: 08:54 GMT 29.12.2021)
BERLIN (Sputnik) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Wednesday that she would not attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
"I am a big fan of sports, but I will not attend the Olympics this time. Foreign ministers have not done this before", the German press agency DPA quoted Baerbock as saying.
The politician also said that it was her personal decision, and the issue of a diplomatic boycott of the games is still under discussion with Germany's partners in the European Union.
Earlier in the month, the United States announced its intention not to send any diplomatic or official representation to the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics over alleged human rights violations in China. The move has been supported by several allies, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Athletes from those countries are still free to participate in the event.
© REUTERS / POOLGerman Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock addresses the media during a statement on Afghanistan at the foreign office in Berlin, Germany
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock addresses the media during a statement on Afghanistan at the foreign office in Berlin, Germany
China responded by expressing strong dissatisfaction with the decision and saying that any attempts to politicise sports violate the Olympic Charter. Beijing also promised to take decisive retaliatory action in this regard.
The 2022 Winter Olympic Games will take place in Beijing from 4-20 February 2022, and the Paralympic Games - from 4-13 March.