Russia’s tough policies towards homosexuals have led to human’s rights activist to request that countries boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. While there has yet to be any boycott announced by any country, the Presidents of France and Germany have announced that they (or any top government officials) will be attending the event.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that neither he or President Francois Hollande will be attending the Olympics in Sochi. Minister Fabius statement was pretty brief and did not give a reason for the decision:
“Mr Fabius told Europe 1 radio on Sunday: ‘Top French officials have no plans to be there.”-BBC
Minister Fabius’s announcement came a week after German President Joachim Gauck said he was not going to attend the Olympic events.
The thought process is that these announcements are in reaction to Russia’s anti-homosexual propaganda law that Putin signed into law back in June.
President Putin’s government have spent over $200 billion (I know that is a Wikipedia Link, but the sources check out) on infrastructure and venue improvements in Sochi and its surrounding area to prepare for the Olympics. The Russian government knows that the international community’s impression of the country will heavily be influenced by how these Olympics go. As a result, these Olympics have become of intense interest to Putin and his government.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the world reacts to these announcements, and whether or not we will see other countries follow suit…or even other country’s Olympic teams.