Growing number of government officials set to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics

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Last week, it was reported that German President Joachim Gauk was not going to represent his country at the Sochi Games in February. Despite his strong support of LGBT rights, his office denied claims that his decision is related to the Russian anti-gay propaganda law.

On Monday, December 9, European Union Commissioner Viviane Reding tweeted that she would “certainly not go to Sochi as long as minorities are treated the way they are under the current Russian Legislation.”

Additionally, on Europe 1 radio on Monday, December 16, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated, “Top French officials have no plans to be there.” This would mean French President François Hollande could be added to the growing list of European officials planning not to go to the Winter Olympics.

Currently, US officials have made no statement as to whether they will be attending the Sochi Games, but First Lady Michelle Obama has already announced her attendance at the Summer Olympics in London.

On Tuesday, December 10, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced there would be “protest zones” set in place for the Sochi Games. The IOC’s decision comes after a meeting with activists who met with IOC President Thomas Bach in Paris on November 30, voicing concern over the vagueness of the Russian law.

Since the law came into place in June 2013, Vladimir Putin has maintained that nobody will be discriminated against during the Sochi Games.

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