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Ukraine Vows Not to Boycott Sochi Paralympics

The president of Ukraine's Paralympic Committee has confirmed that his country will participate in the Paralympic Games, which open in Sochi on Friday.

Speculation over Ukraine's Paralympic participation has been mounting in recent days, following the deployment of Russian troops in the country's Crimea region.

In a new conference held Friday, Ukraine's committee president Valeriy Suskevich asked President Vladimir Putin to help ensure peace for the duration of the Games.

The Ukrainian team would withdraw from the competition if there was any further advancement of Russian troops in Ukraine, Suskevich said, BBC reported.

Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, welcomed news of Ukraine's participation, saying "The talking point of Sochi 2014 needs to be great sport and great athletes, not global politics."

The Ukrainian team this week protested Russia's actions with a procession through the Olympic village, but Suskevich said his team is not planning any political stunts for the opening ceremony.

The ceremony gets under way at 8 p.m. Friday, with competition starting Saturday morning. The Games will run until March 16.

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