On Friday, sports ministers from 35 countries met in a meeting prompted by the International Olympic Committee, IOC, considering opening up to welcome back Russian and Belarusian athletes to the next Olympic Games.

- The mere presence of representatives of the terrorist state is a manifestation of violence and lawlessness and it cannot be covered up with any feigned neutrality or a white flag, said Zelensky, during the summit, according to AFP.

During the meeting, most people are said to have agreed that athletes and leaders from Russia and Belarus should not be allowed to participate in international sports championships as long as Russia's war in Ukraine continues.

However, the IOC and other sports confederations decide independently on the matter.

"Sweden's position is firm"

"Sweden's position is firm and we have stated that today.

Allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games would be wrong," says Minister of Social Affairs Jakob Forssmed (KD), who is responsible for sports matters, in a press release.

Zelenskyy has previously called for a boycott of the 2024 Paris Olympics due to the possible participation of Russian athletes.

On Thursday, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said that Ukraine's demand to boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics, if Russia participates, violates Olympic principles.

"Very regrettable"

Bach expressed, in a letter sent to the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, that it is "very regrettable" that the country is trying to pressure other countries into boycotting.

In January, the IOC published a statement indicating that it was considering allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the next Olympics, but under a neutral flag and without a national anthem.

Ukraine reacted with anger even then, saying that Russia is the driving party in a war.

Poland's Sports Minister Kamil Bortniczuk said last week that up to 40 countries could boycott the Paris Olympics if Russians and Belarusians are allowed to participate.

Russians have generally not been allowed to compete under the Russian flag since the 2014 Sochi Winter Games due to systematic doping and lack of anti-doping efforts.