Representatives from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and National Olympic Committee of Armenia (ARMNOC) have met to discuss developing relations between the two bodies.
The meeting also saw ARMNOC invited to take part in the International Forum of Young Olympians set to take place on June 1 in Moscow.
“Sport, along with science and art, is the most effective means for finding ways to diplomatically resolve any contradictions, any situation, for developing and strengthening humanitarian ties between countries, even if there are political and other differences between them,” said ROC secretary general Rodion Plitukhin.
“We highly appreciate the relations that have developed between the National Olympic Committees of Armenia and Russia, we are grateful for your principled position aimed at restoring the unifying role of the international Olympic Movement.”
Plitukhin praised the participation of Armenian athletes in competitions hosted in Russia last year in a number sports, including judo, sailing, karate, swimming, and taekwondo, in events organised at a time when country is largely isolated following Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February 2022 of Ukraine.
Special attention was paid to Armenia’s showing at the second Children of Asia event, which concluded earlier this month in Kuzbass.
ARMNOC secretary general Hrachya Rosomyan pledged his country’s support for Russia and reiterated the claim by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that sport should unite, not divide.
“We are against the unfair sanctions that are currently applied to Russian and Belarusian athletes,” Rosomyan, who is also Armenia’s Minister of Emergency Situations, said.
“Their removal from international competitions not only harms the athletes themselves, but also deprives the multi-million audience of fans of the opportunity to watch the peaceful rivalry of the best athletes on the planet.
“In 2014, IOC President Thomas Bach, during his visit to Armenia, repeatedly stressed that sport should be a bridge connecting countries that have problems in international relations.
“Inspired by these words, the Armenian delegation went to the first European Games in Baku and was convinced by its own example of the unifying mission of sport.”
The meeting ended with Plitukhin suggesting a renewal of the two organisation’s collaboration agreement which ended in 2021.
He hoped to see the inclusion of “a number of new clauses that will make it possible to consolidate the strict observance of the Olympic Charter by all participants in international sports.”