Russia has proposed holding a Friendship Games later this year ©Getty Images

The All-Russian Swimming Federation have said it will invite several Caribbean and South American nations to participate in a "Friendship Games" in Kazan.

Russia has largely been barred from participating in international sport, following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

The invasion led to the International Olympic Committee recommending that International Federations stop Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating at major competitions.

Russia has since explored holding events with close allies, with opportunities particularly explored with China.

Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Sports of Tatarstan, has announced a pilot project is underway with the All-Russian Swimming Federation.

The project will reportedly see several nations invited to attend competitions in Kazan, the largest city in the Tatarstan region.

"We have been working with the All-Russian Swimming Federation for several weeks to hold alternative tournaments," Leonov said, according to Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"This is a pilot project.

"It has been previously agreed upon in the negotiation process with our federal colleagues."

The announcement came during a media conference for the Russian Synchronised Swimming Championships.

The event is taking place at the Kazan Water Sports Palace, with competition held until April 22.

Olga Pavlova, vice-president of the Russian Federation of Synchronized Swimming, suggested Caribbean and South American nations will be invited to the pilot event, billed as the "Friendship Games."

Russia has suggested inviting Caribbean and South American nations, as well as China ©Getty Images
Russia has suggested inviting Caribbean and South American nations, as well as China ©Getty Images

"We are working hard," Pavlova told TASS.

"All the countries of the Caribbean, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, we will contact everyone, we want to see China.

"We are working, we are waiting for these competitions."

The proposed event has historical links, with the Soviet Union having been central participants in the "Friendship Games" in 1984.

The event largely featured nations who had boycotted the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, with competitions held in Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia, North Korea, Poland and the Soviet Union.

Around 49 nations reportedly participated in the Games, albeit some with second tier athletes.

Russia has touted hosting a series of joint events with China in recent weeks.

The topic was discussed by the nation’s respective Olympic Committees in an online meeting last week.

The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) revealed its athletes have been invited to China.

Ensuring the participation of Russian athletes in competitions held in "friendly states", joint events, and a "Summer Paralympics" to replace the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation World Games this year was touted as aims for the organisation.

Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have been viewed as potential participants in the event.

insidethegames has contacted the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees for a comment.