German president Joachim Gauck will not visit the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. As magazine “Der Spiegel” reports, his office already told russian officials of this decision in the last week. According to the report, human rights abuses and the repression of the opposition in Russia were his reasons, with “Der Spiegel” mentioning the recent anti-gay laws in Russia.
But the magazine gives no direct quote from Gauck – and his office on Sunday denied a boycott, also stating that the previous president did not visit the Winter Olympics in Vancouver either. German chancellor Angela Merkel had previously spoken out against a boycott of the Olympics.