If Latvian teams were to face Russians or Belarusians during the Paris Olympic Games this summer, for example, they would not have the right to do so under this new text. Several Latvian athletes have already said they would consider boycotting the Games if the Russians took part. Thus, the reigning Olympic 3-on-3 basketball champions announced that their team would not take part in the competition if the Russians participated.
Latvia, a former Soviet state on the Baltic Sea and a member of the European Union and NATO, has been a staunch supporter of Kiev since Russia's invasion of Ukraine two years ago. an operation supported by Belarus. Another amendment passed by Latvian lawmakers prohibits organizers of sporting events in the country from inviting Russian and Belarusian national teams.
“The essential aim of these amendments is to once again display Latvia's solidarity with Ukraine and to prevent any attempt by Russia to legitimize its war crimes through peaceful events, such as sporting events,” said parliamentarian Davis Martins Daugavietis, head of the sports subcommittee in parliament, before the vote. The measure passed with 74 votes in favor and 11 against.