Oleg Matytsin said he believed the US diplomatic boycott would not impact Beijing 2022 too much ©Getty Images

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has said the United States' diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will not affect the holding of the Games, stating he did not believe it would create a more severe situation.

It comes after the US President Joe Biden announced the nation would not send diplomats to China in February, in protest of human rights violations in the host nation.

China is accused of mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims, as well as curbing freedom of expression, particularly with journalists and protestors. 

The latest concern surrounds the welfare of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who spoke out about an extramarital affair she had with high-ranking Chinese politician Zhang Gaoli, as well as sexual assault allegations against him.

Joining the US in the diplomatic boycott are Australia, Canada and Britain.

"I'm sure that the US [diplomatic] boycott will not lead to a real one. In addition, an actual boycott of the Olympics would result in disqualification," said Matytsin, as reported by Russia's official state news agency TASS.

Beijing 2022 has been marred by protests about China's human rights record ©Getty Images
Beijing 2022 has been marred by protests about China's human rights record ©Getty Images

According to TASS, the Russian Sports Minister also said it was "necessary...not to exploit sports for settling political scores".

Japan is the latest nation that is reportedly considering a diplomatic boycott too, but there has been no serious discussions so far of nations not sending an athlete delegation to the Games.

French President Emmanuel Macron said a diplomatic boycott would be insignificant, and did not support the move.

The Beijing 2022 Olympics are scheduled to take place from February 4 to 20 2022, with the Paralympics set to follow from March 4 to 13.