Kremlin slams US Olympics boycott, says Games should be 'free of politics'

US President Joe Biden's administration announced that it will not send any US diplomatic or official governmental representatives to the Beijing Games in a rebuke of China's human rights record.

A snowboarder stands in front of the logo of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

The Kremlin on Tuesday criticised the United States for announcing a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, saying the Games should be "free of politics".

US President Joe Biden's administration announced on Monday that it will not send any US diplomatic or official governmental representatives to the Games kicking off in February in a rebuke of China's human rights record.

"Our position is that the Olympic Games should be free of politics," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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He said that it was positive, however, that participants were not impacted by the decision.

"What's most important in the Olympics is that the athletes are not affected," Peskov said.

Washington spent months wrangling over what position to take on the Games hosted by a country it accuses of "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims in the north-western Xinjiang region.

The move drew fiery opposition from Beijing, which threatened unspecified countermeasures, saying the United States would "pay the price for its wrongdoing".