EOK representatives met with the President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee

The President of the Estonian Olympic Committee Urmas Sõõrumaa and the General Secretary Siim Sukles met with the President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee Vadym Guttsaid on Monday via Zoom. Guttsait thanked EOK for the unprecedented support that Ukraine has received since the first day of the war.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping our athletes and in expressing clear positions since February 24," said Guttsait.

Sõurumaa answered: "Those athletes who are currently in Ukraine in the trenches, are currently also fighting for Estonia's freedom. For us, Estonians, it is clear, but it seems that self-satisfied Central Europe does not understand the magnitude of this sacrifice."

Both the Estonian and Ukrainian Olympic Committees agree that Russian and Belarusian athletes in order to be admitted to international competitions, the war in Ukraine must end.

"We want peace. I don't understand how our athletes go head-to-head with athletes from Russia or Belarus. I understand that the Olympic Games are vital for Ukrainian athletes, but for them, it is also vital for their families to be alive. They want to live," said Guttsait.

"The athletes are the ambassadors of their country. Most of the Russian top athletes are officers of the Russian army, whose brothers-in-arms kill and rape innocent people. Are we really going to let the Russian officers march to Paris Olympics?" asked Sõõrumaa.

EOK representatives confirmed that many Estonian sports associations are in talks with other countries. "The IOC has a certain opinion but we always don’t have to agree. Sports leaders and athletes in our region are currently doing everything they can to ensure that Russian and Belarusian athletes would not be able to compete before the war is over," he said.