MEPs urge EU gov'ts to boycott World Cup in Russia: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Dozens of members of the European Parliament have urged EU governments to boycott the football World Cup in Russia, citing President Vladimir Putin’s “mockery” of European values, according to a report by Radio Liberty.
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The broadcaster reported it had seen a letter signed by 46 MEPs and which was expected to be sent on Wednesday to the governments of the bloc’s 28 member states.
Radio Liberty reported that the letter said an attack on an ex-Russian agent in Salisbury, southern England, in March was “just the latest chapter in Vladimir Putin’s mockery of our European values”.
The letter accused Russia of “indiscriminate bombings of schools, hospitals, and civilian areas in Syria; the violent military invasion in Ukraine; systematic hacking; disinformation campaigns; election meddling; trying to destabilize our societies and to weaken and divide the EU,” Radio Liberty reported.
On March 4, Sergei Skripal, a Russian convicted of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were attacked with a suspected nerve agent.
British Prime Minister Theresa May blamed Moscow for the attack and subsequently expelled 23 Russian diplomats.
She also said that no members of British parliament or the royal family would attend the World Cup in Russia, which starts on June 14.
Russia has denied responsibility for the attack.
The Russian foreign ministry said that British threats to boycott the World Cup would damage ties with Moscow and hurt world sport, the Interfax news agency reported, according to Reuters.
According to various media reports, a number of officials from Iceland, Australia, Japan, Denmark and Sweden will also boycott the football tournament.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has decided he will skip the World Cup opening ceremony, one of his aides has said.