The French Interior Ministry has overlooked a ban on Russian volunteers. GETTY IMAGES

The French Interior Ministry has remained unresponsive since early May regarding a collective letter from Russian volunteers who were barred from working at the Olympic Games in Paris, Russian news agency TASS has been told.

Previously, TASS reported that French authorities denied accreditation applications for the Olympic Games from over 20 Russians who wished to volunteer in Paris. "In early May, we wrote a collective letter to French Interior Minister (Gerald Darmanin), which was delivered to the ministry by Russian volunteers living in this country," a volunteer told TASS. 

"More than two weeks have passed and there has been no response. But we continue to hope that the ban on Russian volunteers will be lifted and we will be able to join like-minded people from other countries for the Paris Olympics. We’ve worked with these people more than one Games and have become a friendly family."

In the letter, the volunteers noted that they had been "selected by the Organising Committee of the 2023 Olympic and Paralympic Games (for the 2024 Paris Olympics), each one given a mission," and had already obtained visas, purchased tickets to France, and were prepared to start working.

However, on 29 April, 2024, "volunteers with Russian citizenship received letters with the refusal of accreditation and participation in the volunteer program for security reasons."

Gerald Darmanin has remained tight-lipped over Russian volunteers being excluded from Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES
Gerald Darmanin has remained tight-lipped over Russian volunteers being excluded from Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

The Russians emphasised that they were "ready to volunteer during the Games with good intentions" and "pose no danger," as their shared aim was "to promote the values of the Olympic Games and the ideals of the Olympic movement."

Volunteers urged Darmanin to reconsider the ministry's decision to ban them from the Games. They assured that they would "strictly comply with all French laws, European Union laws, the Olympic Charter, and the Olympic and Paralympic Volunteer Charter," highlighting that none of them "has ever broken the law or been prosecuted."

When asked by journalists on March 21, 2023, whether there would be any restrictions on Russian and Belarusian volunteers, Alexandre Morenon-Conde, Paris 2024's volunteer programme director, stated that the volunteer programme was "open to all without any exclusions."

The Olympic Games will be held in Paris from July 26 to 11 August, with an expected 45,000 volunteers participating. "I am very upset about the rejection. Considering that many volunteers from Russia have participated in previous Olympic Games, I believe that all applicants with Russian passports have been denied accreditation," she said.