31 May 2012

Putin not going to Olympics

4:04 pm on 31 May 2012

President Vladimir Putin of Russia will not be going to the London Olympics.

British MPs, who have campaigned against human rights abuses in Russia, immediately welcomed the snub.

Former Europe minister Denis MacShane claimed it was a way for the newly-sworn president to avoid pressure on Syria, PA reports.

"Putin now realises that he is not welcome in London because of Russia's flagrant rejection of European values and norms and failure to investigate and punish officials who violate rule of law," he said.

It is possible that prime minister Dmitry Medvedev may attend the Games which kick off with the opening ceremony on 27 July.

Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.