International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven has claimed they see its Governing Board meeting in September as crucial to deciding whether Russia can be reinstated and participate at Pyeongchang 2018.
Sir Philip warned last month that it would be "very unlikely" for Russia to compete at the next Winter Paralympic Games if the suspension was not lifted by the time of the meeting, scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi on September 3 and 4.
Speaking here today at the official opening of the Volunteer Training Centre for the London 2017 World Athletics Championships and World Para Athletics Championships, the Briton seemed to attach even more importance to the dates.
"We’re not looking for an admission of guilt, but we’re looking for an acceptance that things were wrong and have to be put right," Sir Philip said.
"We haven’t seen that yet so there’s no possibility at the moment of lifting the suspension.
"Our next Board meeting is in early September and that we see as critical dates with regard to whether we can or whether we can’t, and whether Russia can compete in the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in March or not."
Asked whether the meeting will prove definitive, Sir Philip said: "It could be."
He added: "There’s still time after that, but if we’ve not seen major moves then we can’t have any confidence and our Board again were unanimous."
Russia missed last year's Parlaympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after they were banned by the IPC.
Chelsey Gotell, chair of the IPC Athletes’ Council, has backed the continued suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) and called on the organisation to take swift action to avoid missing Pyeongchang 2018.
The three-time Paralympic champion was present for the IPC Governing Board meeting in Barcelona, where they received an update from a Taskforce established by the organisation to oversee the RPC’s reinstatement process.
The Taskforce, chaired by British Rowing's chief executive Andy Parkinson, has commended the RPC’s enthusiasm and commitment to achieving reinstatement.
Several key criteria were deemed to have not been met, however.
Crucially, this included an official response from Russia to specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by McLaren Report, with the Taskforce stating no meaningful change in culture can be achieved without this.
Access to Para-athletes in closed cities and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency achieving reinstatement by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) remain criteria which have yet to be met.
On May 22, it was confirmed that the RPC’s suspension from all IPC-organised events, which has been in place since August 2016, would stay in place.
It followed the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report claiming Russia had manipulated the testing programme to hide doping failures by home athletes at events, including the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics.
Gotell claimed she believed the views of athletes to be well represented when the decision was taken to continue the suspension, with five other Paralympians also being included on the Governing Board.
The Canadian called upon the RPC to meet the criteria required to ensure their athletes would be able to compete at Pyeongchang 2018.
"She [Gotell] was very adamant in her statement that this is the right way," Sir Philip said.
"We have to have change.
"We believe that the Russian Paralympic Committee can do certain things but we also believe that other authorities within Russia have to ensure that this change happens in support of the Russian Paralympic Committee.
"That’s what we’re looking for now."
Hosts Russia were the dominant force at Sochi 2014, securing a total of 80 medals - 30 golds, 28 silvers and 22 bronzes - to finish top of the overall table.
This was more than one third of all medals claimed at the Games.
While Russia’s participation at Pyeongchang 2018 is in doubt, Sir Philip has previously said that unless something dramatically changes in the next few weeks, the country will not be able to enter its athletes into this year’s World Para Athletics Championships.
The Championships are scheduled to take place at London’s Olympic Stadium from July 14 to 23.