Lithuania’s parliament today (10/3) called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other sports bodies to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competitions until the war in Ukraine ends, war criminals are prosecuted and reparations are paid.

The Parliament in its proposal said it was certain that any victories by Russian or Belarusian athletes at the Olympics and elsewhere would be exploited for propaganda purposes by the governments in Moscow and Minsk.

Ukraine led the call to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus from the 2024 Paris Games after the IOC said in January it was open to including them as neutrals.

In February, more than 30 countries, including the US, Britain and France pledged their support for a ban, which Russia in turn called “unacceptable”.

The Lithuanian parliament, which passed the resolution unanimously, was the first parliament to call for the ban, according to the country’s Ministry of Education, Science and Sports.

Last week, African Olympic committees passed a resolution supporting the participation of athletes in the Paris 2024 summer Olympics as neutrals.