Finland is not joining several other countries including Denmark in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games and the country’s Minister of Sports Antti Kurvinen will represent Finland in China next month.
To local media YLE, the Minister says, “This is the most important Winter Sporting event. It is the top event for athletes and sports enthusiasts and it is a place where Finnish Ministers traditionally are represented.”
Antti Kurvinen’s trip is scheduled for the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and he believes that the presence of a representative of Finland in China will be considered a sign of appreciation for the event and the Finnish athletes.
“Finland’s ministers in charge of sports have traditionally attended the Winter Olympics,” he said, adding that his country has “traditionally not boycotted sports events.”
According to the Minister, the possibility of a diplomatic boycott has not been discussed in the Finnish government. “The decision has not been made in regards to any consideration for foreign policy but only in consideration of the sport,” the Minister said.
“Questions related to broader foreign policy issues naturally belong to the Foreign Minister, the Prime Minister, and the President of the Republic. I am not a member of the Committee on Foreign and Security Policy and I am not able to comment on Finland’s broader foreign policy line. I focus on sports, Antti Kurvinen said.