By Jueseppi B.
From Lynn Sweet:
US leaders to skip Sochi Paralympics: Rep. Duckworth delegation canceled
WASHINGTON–In the wake of Russia moving troops to Ukraine, the U.S. presidential delegation to the Sochi paralympics is canceled, a White House official said Monday. Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., a wounded Iraq war vet, was selected to lead the U.S. presidential delegation and she was to have left on Wednesday for the games.
“In addition to other measures we are taking in response to the situation in Ukraine, the United States will no longer send a Presidential Delegation to the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi. President Obama continues to strongly support all of the U.S. athletes who will participate in the Paralympics and wishes them great success in the Olympic competition,” the White House said.
Duckworth said in a statement, “As a member of Congress, it is my first priority to ensure the safety of my constituents and all Americans. I remain appalled by the immoral and illegal actions of the Russian government and believe that there must be consequences for its behavior. The international community must stand together to support the sovereignty of the Ukraine and end the suffering of its people.”
“The Paralympic Games are an inspiration to millions of disabled people around the globe and it is tragic that the reckless actions of the Russian government are jeopardizing them. Still, these brave Paralympians have shown tremendous perseverance throughout their entire lives and I know they will make all Americans proud in Sochi. ”
The United Kingdom announced its leaders are boycotting the upcoming Sochi Paralympics.
I just talked with a USA Paralympics official and confirmed: The games are on. Most of the U.S. athletes are in or en route to Sochi. What has changed is that government officials will not attend the games to rebuke Russia that there are consequences to its military aggression in Ukraine.
The Paralympics games run from March 7 through March 16.
British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on his Twitter account, “Because of the serious situation in Ukraine, @WilliamJHague & I believe it would be wrong for UK Ministers to attend the Sochi Paralympics. “Because of the serious situation in Ukraine, (Foreign Secretary) William Hague and I believe it would be wrong for UK Ministers to attend the Sochi Paralympics.”
The G-7 leaders already announced they were suspending planning for the June G-8 Summit in Sochi.