The Sochi Paralympic Winter Games are set to begin on Friday in Russia, and while Germany has decided to still send their athletes to participate, there is the question of whether or not government officials will be boycotting the games over the crisis in Ukraine by not attending themselves.
Several news sites have been running the story that Germany has decided to not send any government representatives to the games as a form of protest, citing former Paralympic athlete Verena Bentele’s interview with ZDF. In Bentele’s televised interview, she stated that the government boycott will send “a very clear political signal to Russia.”
Around the same time however, news broke that German deputy interior minister Ole Schroeder will in fact be traveling to Russia for the games, although he says he will be doing so “with mixed feelings.” Schroeder, who is a member of the same CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) party as Chancellor Angela Merkel, told Die Welt “I can’t ignore the political situation, but at the same time I have the greatest respect for disabled sportsmen and women.”
So it appears that there is some confusion as to what Germany’s stance may be on the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games, but it looks as though the country will be sticking with its less hostile and more diplomatic approach when it comes to dealing with Russia by at least sending one government official to represent Germany.