Russia will be asked for ceasefire during Olympics, Macron tells Ukraine interviewer

By Thomson Reuters Mar 16, 2024 | 5:55 PM

KYIV (Reuters) – Russia will be asked to observe a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Paris Olympics, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview from Paris shown on Ukrainian television and posted by a Ukrainian journalist on her YouTube channel on Saturday.

“The demand for a ceasefire during the Olympics. They (the Russians) must do this. That is what has always happened,” the interviewer said, speaking through an interpreter.

“It will be requested,” Macron says in French before a voiceover interpretation gives his response in Ukrainian as “Yes, we will ask for it.”

“The rule of the host country is to move in step with the Olympic movement,” the interpreter quoted Macron as saying. “This is a message of peace. We will also follow the decision of the Olympic Committee.”

The International Olympic Committee condemned Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, saying the Russian government had breached the Olympic Truce, which aims to harness the power of sport to promote peace and dialogue.

On Thursday, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee said the ROC would not boycott this year’s Paris Olympics, despite restrictions on athletes imposed by the IOC as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that she preferred that Russians and Belarusians “don’t come.” Russians and Belarusians had initially been banned from competing internationally in the wake of the invasion, for which Belarus has been used as a staging ground.

(Reporting by Oleksandr Kozhukhar in Kyiv and Elaine Monaghan in Washington; Writing by Elaine Monaghan; Editing by David Gregorio)