Putin pledges to attend Beijing Winter Olympics

It comes as a growing number of countries have joined a diplomatic boycott of the games. This is due to alleged human rights abuses in China, which Beijing denies

Chinese President Xi Jinping with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Russian President Vladimir Putin
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IANS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, making him the first major western leader to confirme his attendance at the games, BBC reported.

His remarks came in a video call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said he looked forward to a "get-together".

It comes as a growing number of countries have joined a diplomatic boycott of the games.

This is due to alleged human rights abuses in China, which Beijing denies, the BBC report added.

"I would like to point out that we always support each other when it comes to international sports cooperation, including our position against attempts to politicise sports and the Olympic Movement," said Putin in comments carried by state-owned media outlet The Global Times.

China has been accused of genocide in its repression of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang - an allegation it has repeatedly rejected, the BBC reported.


China's suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong and concerns for Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who was not seen in public for weeks after she accused a top government official of sexual assault in November are also among the diplomatic issues that have arisen, the report said.

The US, UK and Australia and Canada have said their high-level officials will not be attending the winter games, which will take place in February, as a result.

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