The messenger logo

Medvedev on need of preventing Sochi Olympics from thwarting

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 21
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called for the prevention of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic games causing “any possible provocations.” Speaking at the session of the Russian Security Council on February 18, Medvedev mentioned Georgia in the context of the Olympic Games. “Forces, which prevent the holding of the Sochi games should definitely be identified and brought to justice, if we are talking about our citizens. You all understand that there are certain problems connected with our neighbor-Georgia,” Russian media outlets quoted Medvedev as saying.

The Russian President ordered the Ministries of Interior, the representatives of the law enforcement and the security agencies to “make all necessary efforts to prevent disruption” of the Olympiad. “Proper barriers should be put in the way of any provocations,” Medvedev noted.

Officially, Tbilisi has expressed its discontent over holding the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, close to Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. The issue was discussed behind the closed doors at the Georgian Parliament in October 2009. After the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, Territorial Integrity Commission and the Committee of Relations with the Compatriots Residing Abroad, the Georgian MPs said Georgia should not allow the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russian troops have not left Georgia by that time.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Territorial Integrity Issues, Shota Malashkhia, even suggested holding an alternative competition for states which boycott the Sochi Games. “When we call on countries not to participate in an Olympic Games held in the aggressor country we could offer them an alternative,” Malashkhia said. He suggested that an alternative competition might be “incomplete” in terms of events held, “However it is possible to hold a Games of Goodwill to the Victim,” the MP said.

Georgian MPs and representatives of the Sports Department criticized the initiative, calling it “unrealizable”. Davit Namgalauri from the Sports Department said creating a basic infrastructure for such games would need billions of dollars. National Movement MP Koba Khabazi has also downplayed the idea, saying that there was an attempt to hold a Seattle Games in 1980 as an alternative to the Moscow Olympiad; but this proved not to be a workable idea.