Scheduled for the end of February, the world military sports games, in all likelihood, will collect the smallest number of participants in its history, because the organizer is Russia. Latvia is among the countries that will not participate in these games. But it’s not a General boycott of the States-members of NATO, although the reasons enough for him: from a political point of view, the annexation of Crimea and support for military action in Ukraine, with sport — Russian doping scandal.
According to the publication, Inside The Games, in the beginning of the year participating in the World military games in Sochi confirmed the 22 countries. Among them, several NATO members — Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain. In turn, these powerhouses of winter sports as Canada, Norway and the United States to participate in the competition will not. The official list of participants yet to be announced. For comparison, in the previous winter military World games in France was attended by representatives of the armed forces of 40 countries. Neatkarīgā has not yet received a response from the organizers about what countries have refused, but the Latvian soldiers athletes in Sochi will not.
The rationale of the Ministry of defence is: “Taking into account committed by Russia in the spring of 2014 the annexation of Crimea and implemented aggression in the East of Ukraine, we do not believe that the Latvian soldiers should take part in sports games to be held in Sochi, near the Ukraine.”
International military sports Council (GISM) is organizing the world military sports games since 1995. As the Olympic games, this competition is held every four years. In between the summer games and later began to pass and the winter, this year they will be the third.
The venue is chosen in advance. Recently, it was reported that the next winter military sports games will take place in 2021 in Germany. Four years ago the war in Ukraine has already begun. The annexation of Crimea took place in March 2014. Thus, the organizers choice of location of the current games seem to have been a conscious decision, not random error.
Manual GISM emphasizes that the purpose of the military sports games is to unite and to divide. However, as noted by informal military portal Vara bungas (“Copper drum”), “it is difficult to imagine fraternization with the soldiers of an aggressor state when killed Ukrainian soldiers. And no matter what the decoration will be presented this fraternization, it undermines moral. The benefits of participation of our soldiers in the games in Sochi will receive only the propaganda machine of Russia”. This time the same opinion and the leadership of the Latvian defense Ministry.
In late January, the supposed ceasefire in Ukraine was broken again. Yesterday aren’t informed about the dead and wounded in Avdiyivka in close proximity to controlled by the separatists Donetsk. Against this background really is strange to look like NATO soldiers during a competition climbers at the stadium in Sochi climbed on an artificial wall for the big red star. Win prizes in the winter orienteering, speed skating, ski races, competitions, skiers, biathlon and military patrol.
Strange choice of venue games is also from a sporting point of view. The world anti-doping Agency last year exposed the Russian system of sports — doping at the international competitions were covered at the state level. Manipulation is carried out with doping tests more than a thousand Russian athletes, including the Olympic games. In the global sports community this scandal has caused a condemning response. A number of major sporting events, which previously planned in Russia, cancelled or ignored. After Latvian skeleton sliders brothers Decourcy boycott in Germany was moved to world championship in Luge sports.
However, the international military sports Council ignores these facts. Director of GISM Oliver Verhelle said: “the Event will take place as planned. We want to demonstrate that you are a non-political organization and do not want to send wrong signals”.