Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Bye-EU Tapestry is not to all tastes

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

Maverick Mélenchon: French far-left launches its own web TV

Read more

FOCUS

Rise of sandstorms plagues Middle East

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Superjumbo travel: Discussing the future of the A380

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Fighting unemployment: Millions of Indians face layoffs amid shrinking job market

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Deneuve vs. #MeToo: Exploring feminism 'à la française'

Read more

ENCORE!

Meryl Streep on gender equality: 'Something has cracked wide open'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Trump's presidency, one year in: 365 days of outrageous tweets and blunders

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

War in Syria: UN refugee agency denounces rape of men and boys

Read more

France

France’s Hollande snubs Russia’s Sochi Games

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-16

French President François Hollande on Sunday became the latest leader to snub the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. The move comes amid a growing row over Russia’s rights record and recent legislation banning “gay propaganda”.

"I wish these games a lot of success, but there are no plans for top French officials to go," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio, although he refused to give a concrete reason for not attending. 

The French decision not to attend was criticised Monday by former French interior minister Brice Hortefeux.

“This is a bad decision,” he told Europe 1. “When French athletes compete, national honour demands that they be accompanied and supported.”

“Doing so does not mean that we can’t defend our values,” he added. “I also believe that it is absolutely in France’s interests to renew our dialogue with Russia.”

Hollande's announcement follows German President Joachim Gauck’s decision not to attend the February event, although Gauck has publicly rejected media reports he is boycotting Russia over its rights record.

Blow to Putin

Last week, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding announced on her official Twitter account that she would "certainly not go to Sochi as long as minorities are treated the way they are under the current Russian legislation."

Fabius's announcement will be a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is hoping to make the event a showcase for the country’s status as world power.

Russia has come under intense criticism in recent months over recent legislation banning “gay propaganda” which has led to widespread Internet campaigns calling for a boycott of the games.

The law, passed in July, forbids providing information on “non-traditional sexual relations” to minors and establishes steep fines for violations.

Date created : 2013-12-16

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's highest court overturns gay marriage law

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Paris to host 2018 Gay Games

    Read more

  • SERBIA

    Serbia bans Gay Pride for third consecutive year

    Read more

COMMENT(S)