Russia calls for truce in Syrian war during Sochi Olympics
Russia has called for the declaration of a truce, primarily by the sides in the Syrian conflict, for the duration of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
"The Russian Federation, as the organizer and the host of the Winter Olympic Games, insistently calls on participants in all of the armed conflicts, regardless of the names of countries and continents [where such conflicts are taking place], to proclaim an "Olympic Truce" for this period," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, which was posted on its website on Thursday.
"Our message is primarily addressed to the sides in Syria's bloody conflict, which is exerting a serious destabilizing impact both on the situation in this country and the region as a whole," the ministry said.
Such a step "is in full compliance with the UN General Assembly's Resolution 68/9, which was adopted at Russia's initiative on November 6, 2013, on building a peaceful and better world through sport and Olympic ideals, which contains a call for all member states to observe the Olympic Truce both individually and collectively as part of the United Nations Charter," it said.
"This resolution was adopted by consensus. Its co-authors are 121 states," it said.
"It is noteworthy that the roots of the Olympic Truce declaration go deep down in history, the very history of the establishment of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece, where any wars and conflicts were suspended for the period of the games. That is why this address from the Russian side is in total compliance with the humanistic and general civilization ideals of the Olympic movement and is intended to revive this tradition," the Russian ministry said in the statement.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for the observance of an Olympic Truce, the ministry said. So has Socialist International President George Papandreou, who urged all the sides in the Syrian conflict to declare a truce and a ceasefire ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi, it said.
"The January 22 international conference on Syria and the subsequent inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva under the UN's mediation match the logic of reaching a political and diplomatic settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic," the ministry said.
"The declaration of the Olympic Truce by the sides in armed conflicts around the world is intended to help open up opportunities to end the bloodshed and the suffering of the civilian population, as well as launch a political process to resolve these crises on the basis of the principles set by the United Nations Charter," it said.