BERLIN — German President Joachim Gauck is boycotting the Winter Olympics and will not travel to Sochi, Russia next year.
Der Spiegel reports that Gauck took the decision in protest against human rights violations and the harassment of Russian opposition political figures. The magazine says the Russian government was informed of his decision last week.
The dpa news agency says presidential spokeswoman Ferdos Ferudastan confirmed the move on Sunday. Gauck’s office could not immediately be reached for further confirmation.
Gauck, an outspoken critic of Russia’s human-rights record, is yet to visit the country since taking office in March 2012. A planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2012 fell through, apparently for scheduling reasons.
Gauck travelled to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London last year.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.