Russian Federation 'will not bar athletes' from Games

We won't stop Russians competing: Putin

Russia because of doping, stripped of all medals of the 2014 Games in bobsleigh

"I consider that the IOC's decision is unprofessional", Svishchev said.

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games will take place in Pyeongchang from February 9 to February 25. "It's not the time to think of myself".

"What we will do is, we will make sure that we're taking every precaution possible to make sure that they're safe, and to know everything that's going on around them".

In the meantime, the International Olympic Committee will conduct tens of thousands of pre-Games doping tests ahead of competition in South Korea.

North Korea launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile late last month, ending a two-month hiatus for missile launches from the country.

The ban is part of "an effort to force Russia out of major sport" using "unfounded accusations", Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.

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Photo Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, at the Security Council in November.

French Sports Minister Laura Flessel has already warned that if the crisis deepened and "our security can not be assured, the French Olympics team will stay at home". But Mutko said that the interests of Russia's athletes were his top concern.

M - Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan Saken Musaibekov commented Thursday on the suggestion of Russian lawmaker Vitaliy Milonov addressed to Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan to give up on participation in the Winter Olympics 2018 as Russia was banned from the Games over doping.

"We are confident in the Pyeongchang Organising Committee's ability to deliver a great Games, and our hope is that the focus will be on our athletes".

On December 5, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee, banning the national team from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea's PyeongChang. "An athlete must compete under their flag".

The Russian president pointed out that many athletes, including those he knew personally, "have been striving for these competitions throughout their lives".

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