Tuesday, 4 March 2014 - 13:58
Princess Margariet, group cancel Paralympic visit over Ukraine
The cabinet will not send delegates to the Paralympics in Sochi due to the current situation in Ukraine. The cabinet said on Tuesday that earlier announcements about not boycotting the Paralympics have changed, as Princess Margriet as well as sir Pieter van Vollenhoven and minister Edith Schippers will not go to Sochi. Athletes will stay, as long as their safety is guaranteed. "Also in this situation it counts that we will keep a careful watch over international developments" a spokesperson said. The Paralympics will be opened on Friday. British and American authorities announced they would not be sending delegates to Sochi either, due to Russia's invasion of the Crimean peninsula. Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, D66, wrote on twitter that this decision is "sour for athletes, but right decision." Han ten Broeke (VVD) called minister Schippers' decision "wise because Russia is violating international law", during the debate about Ukraine in the House of Parliament, the Volkskrant reports. At the Olympic Games in February, the Netherlands sent a heavy delegation, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Edith Schippers, king Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima. Various parties and organizations disapproved of this because of Russia's violations of human rights.