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Georgia prime minister uncertain of Sochi Olympic participation

Oct 15, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT

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Georgia’s prime minister said the nation won’t take part in the Sochi Olympics if it’s expected to be “humiliating” for the country.

Georgia and Russia were in conflict during the 2008 Beijing Olympics over a breakaway region that left hundreds dead, and the two bordering nations have had disagreements since.

“We should see how the situation evolves,” Georgia prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said in an interview with Georgian Public Broadcaster’s First Channel, according to RIA Novosti. “And if we feel before the Games that the participation is humiliating for us, then, of course, we won’t take part.”

Georgia, with 4.5 million people, is the country bordering Russia that’s closest to Sochi. It hasn’t won a Winter Olympic medal since its debut in 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died on a training run the day before the 2010 Vancouver Olympic opening ceremony.

This isn’t the first time Georgia has debated backing out of the 2014 Olympics.

In May, the Georgian Olympic Committee put its participation to a vote and unanimously decided to take part.

More recently, Georgian officials were reportedly unhappy that a Russian military pilot from the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict was chosen as one of the torch bearers for the Sochi Olympic torch relay.

Why Russia won’t change its clocks for Olympics

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