US not discussing boycott of Olympics in Russia: WH

The US is not considering a boycott of Sochi Olympics in Russia next year and any speculation on such an issue is not in anybody`s interest, the White House has said.

Updated: Aug 09, 2013, 12:22 PM IST

Washington: The US is not considering a boycott of Sochi Olympics in Russia next year and any speculation on such an issue is not in anybody`s interest, the White House has said.

"I think that that`s a conversation we`re not having," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday.

Referring to a recent interview by Barack Obama, he said the US President was very clear about his views on the issues of gay rights, LGBT rights, and concerns that have been raised internationally about laws in Russia, and his expectation that, as host of the Olympics, Russia will conduct them in a way that shines a favourable light on them as well as ensures the absolutely necessary and proper treatment of delegations and athletes.

"To speculate about something like that is I don`t think in anybody`s interest," he said.

Carney said Obama has made it clear that it is in Russia`s interest to ensure the Olympics are a success.

"And that`s certainly true of other host countries when they have the privilege of hosting an Olympics. And he would expect them to take the necessary measures to ensure their success," he said.

"The President absolutely opposes and has made clear in other countries laws that discriminate against individuals, whether for race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation," he said.

Carney said despite the challenges that US has encountered in its relationship with Russia in recent times, the US still has cooperation with the Russians on a number of important issues.

"We will continue to engage with the Russians, as we are tomorrow, to try to make progress on those and other areas," he said.

"But there is no question that we have run into some obstacles on some important issues, and for that reason, as well as the issues of Edward Snowden, we decided it was not the right to have a bilateral summit," he said.

"However, it is important to note, even as we face the challenges we face and have the disagreements we have with the Russians, that we continue to have cooperation and agreement on a number of important issues, including those issues that we reached agreement with Russia on during President Medvedev`s time as President," he said.

"I`m not minimising the challenges we face or the disagreements we have with Russia, but I think that it`s important not to imagine that everything was harmonious in our relationship with Russia a few years ago and is now lacking harmony of any kind at this time.

There`s no question that we have a number of disagreements with Russia. We certainly had some under President Medvedev, including over missile defence," he added.

PTI