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© RIA Novosti. Alexander Imedashvili

Georgia wavers on Sochi 2014 Olympic boycott

by R-Sport at 01/04/2013 16:09

Georgia's participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was thrown into doubt on Monday when the country's deputy foreign minister insisted that a decision is yet to be made.

The prickly issue was thought to have been settled in December, when pro-Russian billionaire Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili announced his government would not issue a boycott.

But David Zalkaliani told News Georgia on Monday that the government has not yet decided to send its athletes to Russia.

“There is a position that Georgia will not boycott the Olympics, but the government has not yet made a final decision about whether Georgia will participate,” Zalkaliani was quoted as saying. “A statement will be released by the government in the near future.”

Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia following the 2008 war over South Ossetia. Tensions, however, have started to thaw in recent months, with Russia recently lifting its import ban on Georgian wine.

President Mikhail Saakashvili had urged the world to consider snubbing the Winter Games in the wake of the conflict.

Georgia's participation in the Games is particularly sensitive given the Olympic Park's proximity to Abkhazia, a breakaway republic that declared independence along with South Ossetia following the war.



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