Olympics boycott remnant of old thinking, says Putin
Moscow: The boycott Olympics campaign by some western countries was a remnant of the old way of thinking, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.
"I do not think these are manifestations of the `cold war`, but it is a demonstration of competition," Putin said in a recent interview with Russian and foreign journalists which was fully published Sunday.
"Indeed, any major international competition, and Olympic Games first and foremost, are intended to depoliticise the most pressing international issues and open up new ways to build bridges. It is unwise to miss such opportunities, and it is far more unwise to burn such bridges," Putin added.
As for the homosexuality in Russia, Putin said homosexuality was a criminal offence in 70 countries, including the US.
"So what, shouldn`t we hold any international competitions there? Why does nobody speak about this and why do they speak about us, though we do not have criminal liability for this," Putin noted.
Citing that the human rights reasons for boycotting the Sochi Games were not manifestations of the cold war, but a demonstration of competition, Putin said.
Friday, during a gathering with the Winter Olympics volunteers in Sochi, Putin said Russian laws did not criminalize homosexual relations, but ban propaganda of non-traditional sexual lifestyle among the minors.
Last June, Putin signed a controversial law banning the promotion of "non-traditional" sexual relationships and pedophilia to minors. The move sparked outcry abroad with many athletes and celebrities calling to boycott the Winter Olympics Feb 7-23.