Armenian Olympic Committee secretary general Hrachya Rostomyan has repeated his country's support for Russia's return to international  sport ©ARMNOC

Armenia’s Olympic Committee (ARMNOC) has pledged to work for the return of "brother" athletes from Russia and Belarus to international sport and promised it will not try and entice Russian athletes to compete for Armenia.

Last month, ARMNOC officials met their Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) counterparts to discuss developing relations.

ARMNOC officials had previously described the sanctions on Russian sport as "unfair" and has given an undertaken it will not take advantage of the country's athletes being banned from international competition.

"Inviting Russians surreptitiously, taking advantage of their access problems, is wrong and vile, we have nothing to do with this," ARMNOC secretary general Hrachya Rostomyan told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"The Russian Olympic Committee is our brother, and it wouldn’t even occur to us to poach someone, 

"Do they want to drive a wedge between us?

"For our part, we are ready to help, in any way we can, to bring back Russian and Belarusian athletes.

"I recently spoke at the International Olympic Committee and said that sport is a humanitarian bridge between peoples that cannot be destroyed."

Russia and Armenia have traditionally enjoyed close sporting ties ©Getty Images
Russia and Armenia have traditionally enjoyed close sporting ties ©Getty Images

Armenia has close political and sporting ties with Russia and a delegation from the country took part in the Children of Asia event, a youth winter sports competition organised in Russia last month.

Armenians have also been invited to participate in an International Forum of Young Olympians in Moscow scheduled for June 1. 

"The Olympic Committee of Armenia has a very clear position that sport should be out of politics," Rostomyan, who is also Aremnia's Minister of Emergency Situations of Armenia and President of the Armenian Wrestling Federation, said.

Armenian officials have repeatedly highlighted their decision to attend the 2015 European Games held in Baku, Azerbaijan as an example of how countries should not allow the fact they are at war with each other get in the way of international sport.

"Despite the difficult relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, we went to the 2015 European Games in Baku and took part in all the events there," Rostomyan explained.

There remain no diplomatic relations between the two countries following the recent armed conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in 2020 and further fighting last September.

Last week, the Azerbaijan team withdrew from the European Weightlifting Championships in Armenia after a fashion designer working on the Opening Ceremony seized the Azerbaijan flag and set it alight.

Two days later, Karen Giloyan, Deputy Minister at the Armenian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, condemned the incident when he told insidethegames it was "hideous,"