Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that he will not respect the Olympic truce and will continue fighting in Ukraine during the Paris Olympics, contrary to the wishes of his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. “These Olympic principles, including the Olympic Truce, are very fair (…). But few countries have respected it in history, with the exception of ancient Greece,” Mr. Putin told the Russian press, following a two-day trip to China.

The Russian leader then implied that since Russia had been excluded from the Paris Games because of its invasion of Ukraine, it did not have to comply with the principles of the International Olympic Committee.

“International sports officials are today violating the principles of the Olympic Charter (…) with regard to Russia by preventing our athletes from participating in the Olympics under their flag, with their national anthem, but they want us to comply with the rules they impose on us,” he said. “To demand something from others, you have to respect the rules yourself,” he concluded.

President Emmanuel Macron had assured that he wanted to “do everything” to have an Olympic truce across the world during the Paris Olympic Games. He said that President Xi Jinping had given him his support in early May.

This week, he once again highlighted “the interest of an Olympic truce so that Russia ceases current operations and that all useful diplomatic initiatives are taken to initiate negotiations in compliance with international law and legitimate interests of Ukraine”.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, who met at length in Beijing on Thursday, did not publicly discuss the subject. Russia had already waged war on Georgia during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Tbilisi wanted to regain control of a separatist territory supported by Moscow.