Thursday, 27 January 2022 – 13:15 WIB
VIVA – The Beijing Winter Olympics could affect the timing of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was quoted as saying by Reuters on Thursday, January 27, 2022. She added that Chinese President Xi Jinping would not be happy if the two events occurred simultaneously.
Sherman, who led the US delegation in talks with Russian officials in Europe earlier this month, said he did not know whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had made the decision to invade Ukraine, but some hints suggest an invasion could happen by mid-February.
“We all know the Beijing Olympics will start on February 4, 2022, the opening ceremony, and President Putin is expected to be there. I think maybe President Xi Jinping would not be happy if Putin chose that moment to attack Ukraine,” said Sherman. “So the Olympics could influence Putin.”
Putin criticized the diplomatic boycott of the Olympics by the United States and other Western countries on the grounds of China’s human rights record, saying he was against the “politicization of sport.”
The US Embassy in Ukraine urged Americans in Ukraine to leave the country at this time, saying the security situation in the country was “unpredictable due to the growing threat of Russian military action”.
The United States and its allies have threatened sanctions against Russia if it continues its invasion of Ukraine, but some 100,000 Russian troops remain near the Russia-Ukraine border.