German president Joachim Gauck to boycott Sochi Winter Olympics

Washington: German President Joachim Gauck is boycotting the Winter Olympics and will not travel to Sochi, Russia next year, according to reports.

According to The Huffington Post, Gauck took the decision in protest against human rights violations and the harassment of Russian opposition political figures.

Presidential spokeswoman Ferdos Ferudastan confirmed the move on Sunday, the report said.

Gauck, an outspoken critic of Russia`s human-rights record, is yet to visit the country since taking office in March 2012, the report added.

A planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2012 fell through, apparently for scheduling reasons, the report further said.

Gauck travelled to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London last year, the report mentioned.

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