Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin revealed he "respects" the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach agreed to postpone this year's Games in Tokyo until no later than the summer of 2021.
That has generally received a positive response, with Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief executive and secretary general David Shoemaker saying he was "thankful and appreciative" of the decision.
The decision was based on information provided by the World Health Organization, whose director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday that the coronavirus pandemic is "accelerating".
There are more than 400,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, with the number is growing by the hour.
More than 17,000 people have died from the illness.
Matytsin revealed to insidethegames that he "respects" the decision as "health and safety of people are the top priority for everyone."
"We respect the decision by IOC and the Government of Japan to postpone Tokyo Olympics," he said.
"I hope that this decision will help to maintain the integrity of sport and the Olympic Movement.
"In the current situation of uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, this decision serves the interests of athletes, coaches and spectators.
"Health and safety of people are the top priority for everyone."
Before postponement was announced, the Russian Olympic Committee had claimed it was "unacceptable" for organisations to pressure the IOC and Tokyo 2020 into making a rash decision.
The COC was one organisation seen by some to be doing so after it announced it would not send athletes to Tokyo 2020 if the Games went ahead this summer.
Asked if it was a relief that a postponement had been announced the day after the COC made that decree, President Tricia Smith insisted the interests if Canadian athletes had been its focus.
"If it had that effect we’re happy for that, but really I have to say and stress our focus was really in doing the right thing here in Canada," Smith said.
Shoemaker said he was "relieved for the added clarity that it’s provided to the athletes, frankly to allow them to stand down and to focus on their health, the health of their families and the health of their communities.
"But we’re by no means happy", Shoemaker added.
"There will soon be nearly half a million cases of COVID-19 in the world. Over 2,000 Canadians’ lives are being lost and countless lost jobs and so I fully concur with Tricia that our focus has been on doing our part and allowing Team Canada to do its part to address this pandemic."
Many countries have implemented travel restrictions, banned group gatherings and limited how often people can leave their homes as a result of the pandemic, which has made it difficult for athletes to train.
There is also the matter of hundreds of sporting events being postponed or cancelled due to fears over the spread of COVID-19, including several Olympic qualifiers and World Championships.
Matytsin, who was appointed to his role in January, claimed the Russian Ministry of Sport would do "everything needed" to prevent "negative consequences for athletes' preparation."
"The Ministry of Sport is in close contact with the Russian Olympic Committee and sports federations; we will elaborate an action plan as soon as possible," he said.
"Our main task is to maintain uninterrupted training for Russian athletes.
"The Ministry will do everything needed within our purview to minimise negative consequences for athletes’ preparation."
Before making the decision to postpone Tokyo 2020, the IOC had faced increasing pressure and criticism.
The Russian flag was due to be absent from Tokyo 2020 after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned the country from all international sport for four years in December.
Individually-cleared Russian athletes were set to be allowed to compete neutrally.
These measures are yet to be implemented, however, after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
There were concerns the case may have gone up to the eve of Tokyo 2020, but this will no longer be an issue.