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President Putin to attend opening ceremony of Paralympics
Thursday March 6, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

Despite the crisis in the Crimea and criticism from the West he will be at the event on Friday. Some western governments have boycotted The Games along with members of European Royal Families.

President Putin says he will be in Sochi and he will also go to some of the events of the Paralympics. 

He said he hopes to be at the skiing and the sledge hockey.

This comes despite the current international situation that has been described as the most serious crisis in Europe this century.

The Ukranian government has boycotted the Paralympics, but its team of 31 athletes is currently training in Sochi.

A decision on whether the team will be withdrawn will be made in the next 24 hours. Some commentators say the attendance of the athletes is far from certain given events in the Crimea.

Ukraine has a strong team and came 4th in the medal table at Vancouver in 2010.

45 countries are currently sending teams to the Paralympics.

The British government will not be attending and neither will Prince Edward - we reported on the British boycott in this earlier story on PlanetSKI.

We understand the British athletes will all be taking part in The Games.

Other European Royals who have pulled out include Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Norwegian Princess Maertha-Louise.

The British Paralympic Association, BPA, has said it is monitoring the situation.

"We are clearly monitoring the events in Ukraine and continue to be in close contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who are leading on security matters. We completely understand the decisions that have been taken that mean UK Ministers and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward will not attend the Sochi Paralympic Games," said a statement from the BPA.

For the spirit of the mountains

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