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French President Francois Hollande to skip Sochi Olympics

French President Francois Hollande speaks next to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (out of frame) during an agreements ceremony.

Story highlights

  • Hollande has no plans to go to the Winter Olympics in Russia, foreign minister says
  • The move comes on the heels of German President Joachim Gauck's similar choice
  • Russia has been criticized for human rights abuses and discrimination

Count one more world leader out of the Winter Olympics, which start February 7 in Sochi, Russia.

French President Francois Hollande will not be attending the Sochi Games, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday.

Less than a week after German President Joachim Gauck chose to boycott the Olympics, Fabius was asked about Hollande's plans for the Games.

"This (has) not been planned ... to attend," Fabius responded. "But at the same time I wish all the success for these games. But for now, it is not expected that the highest French authorities attend."

Like German officials, Fabius declined to explain the decision further.

Eighty kings, queens, presidents and other world leaders attended the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

Host country Russia has been receiving scrutiny and criticism for alleged human rights violations, harassment of opposition political figures, and a law passed earlier this year banning "gay propaganda," which critics have said promotes discrimination.

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