Dmytro Kuleba has backed the comments on visas made by Germany's Nancy Faeser ©Getty Images

Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ukraine, has praised Germany's Nancy Faeser after she said athletes from Russia and Belarus could be denied visas to the country.

Faeser, the German Interior Minister, said her nation could "control" whether Russians could participate in its events.

She said countries hosting sports events were not "powerless".

Her comments came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC), led by German official Thomas Bach, recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus should be allowed to return to the global sporting stage provided they do not support the invasion of Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

"I applaud Nancy Faeser's principled stance on the necessity of barring Russian and Belarusian athletes," Kuleba said.

"If international sports officials fail to uphold their principles, responsible Governments must step in and refuse entry to athletes who represent war and state propaganda."

Germany is due to host several international competitions, including the World Archery Championships and the Canoe Sprint World Championships.

Earlier this year, the German Fencing Federation cancelled a World Cup in Tauberbischofsheim as the governing body for the sport approved the participation of Russians and Belarusians.

There are also other sports that are willing to go against the IOC's wishes, including athletics, equestrian and sports climbing.

Nancy Faeser says that other countries can control whether Russia and Belarus compete or not ©Getty Images
Nancy Faeser says that other countries can control whether Russia and Belarus compete or not ©Getty Images

"Countries that host major sports events are not powerless," Faeser had said in an interview with German publisher Funke Media Group.

"They can control whether Russians can participate in them by issuing visas.

"If we organise international competitions in Germany, we can act accordingly.

"Here we will always act with a clear position."

Bach, who previously led the German Olympic Sports Federation, was critical of European Governments who were against the IOC's stance of allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under neutral status.

Germany has said it is against a boycott of the Paris 2024 Olympics, however.

Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry representative, told the country's state news agency TASS that Faeser's idea contradicted the principles of the Olympic Movement.

"This is another encroachment on the independence of sports, on the inadmissibility of political bias in this sphere," she said.