The International Judo Federation (IJF) confirmed on Wednesday that several spectators were expelled from the ongoing Judo World Championships in Doha for wearing a patriotic Russian symbol on their clothes. The St. George ribbon, with black and orange stripes, is an emblem commemorating the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany and is considered a symbol of Russian patriotism.
The spectators refused to remove the ribbon and were consequently expelled from the event. The Judo World Championships 2023, which started on Tuesday and ran until Sunday, allowed the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes after their exclusion due to the conflict in Ukraine. Although readmitted as neutral athletes without their national symbols, their return caused Ukraine to decide not to send its judokas to the World Championships in Qatar.
In another case related to Russia, a European court annulled the European Commission’s decision to approve a €6 billion rescue plan for Lufthansa airline during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan involved a recapitalization of the airline by the German state, and the ruling was due to errors made by the Commission, including considering that Lufthansa “was unable to finance itself on the markets” to meet its capital needs. Although the airline rescue mechanism had already been applied, the impact of the decision remains uncertain. The airline is now fully back in private hands after the German state resold the last stakes it held in its capital.
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