May 18, 2022

OsoyoosToday

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Russian hockey players are considering applying for asylum or residence permits in the United States and Canada

2022 Beijing Olympics – Ice Hockey – Russia Training – National Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China – February 7, 2022. Masks are hung on hockey sticks during training. REUTERS / Brian Snyder

Predictions of the consequences of sanctions against the Russian game are being confirmed every day very clearly and in various ways.

Russian players, their representatives and the National Hockey League (NHL) teams have recently contacted immigration lawyers to discuss the process of applying for asylum or permanent residence in North America, sources familiar with the matter say.

Concerns among athletes are that the U.S. and Canadian governments may delay or stop issuing new work permits and travel visas to Russian athletes, says San Diego-based immigration lawyer Joe Kirkwood.

According to an article in the Canadian outlet The Sports Network, Kirkwood did not expect the U.S. government to cancel the visas of Russian soldiers already in the United States “but is very real and rightly concerned about what might happen.” Will happen with new visas. In the future. “

TSN said two sources close to the players said the athletes were in talks with immigration lawyers. Evidence demanded anonymity to avoid embarrassing the players if they were identified.

2022 Beijing Olympics - Ice Hockey - Russian Olympic Committee Men's Training - National Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China - February 6, 2022. Russian athletes wearing safety masks attend training.  REUTERS / DAVID W.  Cherni
2022 Beijing Olympics – Ice Hockey – Russian Olympic Committee Men’s Training – National Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China – February 6, 2022. Russian athletes wearing safety masks attend training. REUTERS / DAVID W. Cherni

Thomas Arkel, an immigration lawyer in Bloomington, who represented professional ice hockey players and teams, said he had been contacted by players and player agents concerned about the war in Ukraine.

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TSN reports that the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa has asked the Canadian government to suspend the issuance of new work permits and travel visas to Russian athletes on March 2.

Kirkwood noted that most NHL players in the United States will be eligible to become permanent residents on multi-year contracts and will not have to apply for asylum if they have the support of their teams.

Maria Popova, a professor of political science at McGill University, has provided expert advice on more than 20 Russian immigration cases in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and clearly agrees with what TSN says is Russian. What the government is doing in Ukraine for Russian athletes would be to their advantage.

“Athletes are important public figures in Russia. Those in the West did not realize how important the game was to Russia’s self-concept as a major power. The game is more important than Russia’s geopolitical environment here, “he said.

This game seems to be sensitive to the problem in the Russian context, considering the possibility of “immigration” spreading to other games.

Four-time Olympic biathlon champion Alexander Dikonov has criticized the possibility of transferring citizenship to Russian biathletes.

“It simply came to our notice then. I think they are very serious and they will not take that step. Now, instead, we need to show that we are strong and that our country can respond to whatever happens, “said Dikonov, according to Russian outlet Sport24.

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has suspended Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing under its auspices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russian Biathlon Union has announced in court that it will defend the rights of its athletes.

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This Friday, according to RIA Novosti, The Lausanne-based Sports Arbitration Court has filed an appeal with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) against the decision of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) to bar Russian athletes from participating in the European Youth Olympic Games.

On March 2, 2022, the EOC Executive Committee, citing the recommendations of the IOC, decided that Russian athletes would not be able to compete in the event, which will be held in Finland from March 20 to 25. Of Vucati.

In that process, when Russia invaded Ukraine with the support of Belarus, the IOC recommended that the sports federations not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete after violating the Olympic agreement imposed by the United Nations.