Georgia Will Not Boycott 2014 Sochi Games Despite Diplomatic Dispute With Russia
The sovereign state of Georgia "will not boycott" the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics after the country’s NOC "voted unanimously Thursday in favor of taking part," according to RIA NOVOSTI. The question of a boycott "has repeatedly arisen in Georgia" as a result of the '08 war with host nation Russia. The two countries "still do not have formal diplomatic relations." Sochi is near Russia’s border with the breakaway region of Abkhazia, which Georgia "claims as part of its territory, while Russia considers it independent and maintains a large military presence there" (RIA NOVOSTI, 5/2). TREND's N. Kirtzkhalia reported NOC President Leri Khabelov "congratulated everyone with the decision." Khabelov: "We made it based on consideration of sport and I am glad the preparations of our Olympic team have not passed by in vain." Georgia "will send a formal request to participate" in Winter Games to the IOC by Tuesday (TREND, 5/2).