Russian President Vladimir Putin claims the diplomatic boycott of China by several countries, including the United States, is against the Olympic spirit ©The Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has again condemned the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games on the eve of the Opening of Beijing 2022, which he is expected to attend.

Politicians and diplomats from several countries, led by the United States, and including Australia, Britain and Canada have said they will not Beijing 2022 in protest at alleged human rights abuses by the Chinese Government. 

"Unfortunately, attempts by a number of countries to politicise sports issues for the sake of their ambitions have recently intensified.” Putin told China's official state news agency Xinhua

"This is fundamentally wrong and contradicts the very spirit and principles of the Olympic Charter."

Putin predicted that Beijing 2022 would be a success.

"I am convinced that China's rich experience in the flawless organisation of representative international competitions will make it possible to hold this world sports festival at the highest level," Putin told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"Our Chinese friends have done a great job for high-quality preparations for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games." 

Putin had visited the last Olympic Games in the city 14 years ago, when he met the then United States President George W. Bush, who also attended the Opening Ceremony.

"I warmly remember my trip to Beijing in August 2008 for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics," he said.

"The sporting links between Russia and China occupy an important place in bilateral human cooperation."

The Russians will compete as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) at Beijing 2022 as part of sanctions imposed after mass doping in Russian sport came to light.

"Of course, we will cheer for our athletes and rejoice at their every victory, every achievement," Putin told the state-owned China Media Corporation.

“How many of them there will be and what colour the medals  will be, only competitions will show,"

Russian leader Vladimir Putin attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where he met then US President George W. Bush ©Getty Images
Russian leader Vladimir Putin attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where he met then US President George W. Bush ©Getty Images

The ROC team is expected to number 204, subject to satisfactory results in the daily tests for COVID-19. 

"The epidemic situation can affect the participation of athletes, and hence the final results," Putin said.

"High-quality preparation for the Olympic competition will help the Olympians to show their sports character, to demonstrate their skills and ability to achieve their goals in an honest, uncompromising fight,"

Earlier, the Kremlin insisted that he would not hold talks with other leaders, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected to attend.

Tension continues after a Russian troop build up on the border with Ukraine.

"We have repeatedly said that the ceremony’s organisers have to impose a number of severe restrictions both on athletes and guests, including officials," Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said. 

"So the Russian President’s schedule for the Beijing trip does not include any bilateral meetings for obvious reasons,"