Cites Russian invasion as reason for boycott, obviously
(Reuters) - Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has urged his country’s allies to consider boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia if Moscow does not pull all its troops out of his country’s territory.
Poroshenko told the German newspaper Bild he prefers to keep football and politics separate but that this was not possible when the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk are having to play 1,200km away in Lviv because Donetsk is occupied by pro-Russia separatists.
“I think there has to be discussion of a boycott of this World Cup. As long as there are Russian troops in Ukraine I think a World Cup in that country is unthinkable,” said Poroshenko.
He said he would ask Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, to push for tougher sanctions against Russia because of what he described as repeated separatist violations of the ceasefire which she helped broker last month.
He is also going to ask the chancellor for more non-lethal military aid for Ukraine’s forces, such as bullet-proof vests. “We need more to be able to defend ourselves and protect our soldiers,” said Poroshenko. “We need radar reconnaissance, drones, radio and night-vision equipment. I am going to talk to the chancellor about this. It’s not about weapons of attack – we don’t want to attack anyone.”