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DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

Denmark official representatives to stay away from Beijing Winter Olympics

Denmark's government has confirmed it will not send any official representative to the Beijing Winter Olympics due to the human rights situation in China.

The National Ski Jumping Centre in Beijing, a competition venue for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Denmark will not be sending official representation to the games due to human rights concerns.
The National Ski Jumping Centre in Beijing, a competition venue for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Denmark will not be sending official representation to the games due to human rights concerns. Photo: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

“The government has decided that we will not take part in the Winter Olympics in China… It is no secret that we, in Denmark, are very concerned by the human rights situation in China,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told AFP in a statement on Friday.

Danish athletes will however compete in the games to start next month.

They “can count on the total support of the government. And we will cheer them on as we always do — but from home, not from the bleachers of Beijing,” Kofod added.

The United States, Canada, Australia and Britain have already announced a diplomatic boycott of the games.

Advocacy groups have backed the US-led effort, with Human Rights Watch’s China director Sophie Richardson calling it a “crucial step toward challenging the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic communities.”

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DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

Seven members of Danish embassy expelled by Russia

Moscow said Thursday that seven members of Denmark's embassy in Russia have been declared persona non grata and had two weeks to leave Russia.

Seven members of Danish embassy expelled by Russia

Russia’s foreign ministry said it summoned Danish Ambassador Carsten Søndergaard to inform him of the retaliatory measures following the expulsion of 15 Russian diplomats from Denmark and the country’s military aid to Kyiv.

“The kingdom’s openly anti-Russian policies cause serious damage to bilateral ties,” the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

Russia reserves the right “to take additional steps in response to Copenhagen’s unfriendly actions,” the statement said, adding that a diplomat of the Danish mission was also refused a visa as part of the retaliatory measures.

The Danish foreign ministry said that Russia was expelling seven members of its diplomatic mission including four diplomats.

In a statement to AFP, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called the move “a totally unjustified and deeply problematic decision”.

“Russia no longer wants real dialogue and diplomacy,” he said, noting that Denmark had in fact expelled Russian intelligence agents and not diplomats.

Since President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24th, the West has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and Russia retaliated in tit-for-tat moves.

READ ALSO: Denmark accuses Russian spy plane of violating airspace

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