ISU members are set to vote on changes to suspension rules in the wake of the war in Ukraine ©Getty Images

The National Federations of Russia and Belarus could be suspended by the International Skating Union (ISU) over the war in Ukraine if a last-ditch motion is passed at next month’s Congress.

The ISU Council is proposing to impose "protective measures" to ensure the organisation is able to "act swiftly within well-defined limits" should an "extraordinary event" occur that compromises the conduct of its activities.

Terrorism, riots, civil unrest, war, strikes, chemical contamination and epidemics are among the situations deemed to be "extraordinary events" by the ISU Council.

Under the proposals, the protective measures may include the temporary suspension of ISU members "representing countries that caused or contributed to or are relevantly involved in the extraordinary event".

The ruling could also impact athletes, officials and support personnel, according to the ISU Council.

The motion is among "urgent matters" that are set to be presented to the Congress, scheduled to be held from June 6 to 10 in Phuket in Thailand.

Members are set to vote on the proposals, with a four-fifths majority required for it to be passed.

"In view of the exceptional developments in Ukraine, the ISU Council had to use its authority under Article 17.1.q) of the ISU Constitution in order to guarantee the safety of participants and integrity of international competitions," the document from ISU Council read.

Russia could face further punishments by the ISU following the country's invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images
Russia could face further punishments by the ISU following the country's invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images

"However, the ISU Council concluded that similar circumstances might occur again in the future and that there should be a specific provision in the ISU regulations defining the basic framework under which conditions the ISU Council will be empowered to impose protective measures.

"This will ensure that in the future and under similar circumstances, the ISU Council will be able to act swiftly within well-defined limits, known and accepted by the ISU members.

"The proposed new provision will avoid the need to resort to the ISU Council’s extraordinary powers as per article 17.1.q) of the Constitution for imposing protective measures in case of exceptional circumstances outside of the ISU’s control defined in the first paragraph of the new provision."

The ISU Council say the protective measures maybe maintained "as long as reasonably required by the circumstances".

"They must be lifted, partially or totally, as soon as reasonably practicable in view of the evolution of the circumstances having led to the issuance of the measures," the document added.

"In case any protective measure imposed is still in place at the time of the next Ordinary ISU Congress, such ISU Congress shall discuss and decide whether the measures shall be maintained."

The proposed protective measures could put the ISU membership of Russia and Belarus at risk due to the war in Ukraine.

Russia, backed by Belarus, launched a full-scale military offensive on Ukraine on February 24.

According to the United Nations, at least 3,778 civilians have been killed since the start of the war, although it is feared the true number is far higher.

Last month, the Figure Skating Federation of Russia expressed its disappointment at the ISU’s protective measures which included an indefinite ban on both countries staging international competitions.

The move resulted in Moscow being stripped of the rights to host a Grand Prix of Figure Skating event in November.

War is among several acts considered to be
War is among several acts considered to be "extraordinary events" by the ISU Council ©Getty Images

Skaters and officials from the Russian Skating Union, the FFKKR and the Skating Union of Belarus have been banned from ISU competitions since March 1, and this remains in place "until further notice".

Dmitry Svishchev, chair of Russia's State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy, claimed that freezing out Russia from international competitions "simply chokes" the further development of the sport.

ISU vice-president Alexander Lakernik is among six Russian officials standing in the upcoming elections.

The 77-year-old’s hopes of staying in the role will rest on a motion to increase the maximum age limit of office-holders from 75 to 80.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are tabling the proposal which is expected to be voted on at the upcoming ISU Congress.

Lakernik faces opposition from Canada’s Benoît Lavoie, Japan’s Tatsuro Matsumura and Rahkamo.

Other Russian officials standing include Alexander Kibalko, Julia Andreeva, Uliana Chirkova, Andrey Nefedov and Mikhail Sokolov.

The ISU said that more than 20 National Federations had called for Russia and Belarus to be barred from attending and standing at the organisation’s Congress in response to the war in Ukraine.

But the ISU Council has instead decided to put the proposals to a vote at the meeting in Phuket.

The "urgent matters" that are set to be voted on at the Congress can be read here.