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SBD Global/December 11, 2013/Olympics

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding Joins German President In 2014 Sochi Boycott

European Union Commissioner Viviane Reding will not go to the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February over what she said was "Russia's treatment of minorities," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Reding joins German President Joachim Gauck "in a snub to the host nation." Reding wrote in a tweet, "I will certainly not go to Sochi as long as minorities are treated the way they are under the current Russian legislation." While it was unclear whether Reding had been invited or would have gone as an EU representative or a private citizen, her decision "openly to oppose Russia's recent legislation was the most vocal statement by a politician to date." On Sunday, Gauck "became the first European head of state to announce he would not be attending the Games." He did not, however, "say why he would not be attending but his decision was instantly welcomed as a 'wonderful gesture' by several human rights groups as well as the German government's human rights commissioner" (REUTERS, 12/10).
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