Russia's rhythmic gymnastics team are set to skip the Grand Prix in Ukraine's capital Kyiv next month amid growing concern over the situation involving both countries ©Getty Images

Russia's rhythmic gymnastics team has pulled out of next month's International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Grand Prix in Kyiv amid the growing crisis in Ukraine.

All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics President Irina Viner-Usmanova confirmed that Russia has withdrawn from the Grand Prix in Ukraine's capital scheduled for March 14 and 15, which features as part of the Deriugina Cup.

"The team will not go to Kyiv for the Grand Prix due to the current situation between Russia and Ukraine," Viner-Usmanova told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

Svetlana Khorkina, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, and legendary Russian coach Tatiana Tarasova have both backed the decision.

"I am in favour of never mixing sports with politics," Khorkina said, as reported by Russian newspaper Sport-Express.

"We don't mix it.

"In this case, I will only say that Irina Alexandrovna [Viner-Usmanova] is a great coach.

"She herself knows what and how to do in order for our girls to be in great shape and prepare for their most important competition in life - the Olympic Games."

Tarasova told the same publication: "Everything that Viner-Usmanova said is correct.

"I support it."

FIG declined to comment.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Svetlana Khorkina has backed the 
All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics' decision ©Getty Images
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Svetlana Khorkina has backed the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics' decision ©Getty Images

Moscow staged a Grand Prix from Friday (February 18) to Sunday (February 20) last week.

The Russian Olympic Committee secured silver in the women's rhythmic group all-around event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with Dina Averina placing second in the individual competition.

Russia has recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent states, with President Vladimir Putin ordering troops into the country.

Ukraine is set to introduce a nationwide state of emergency granting special powers to authorities amid fears of an invasion.

It has also urged its estimated three million citizens living in Russia to leave the country.

European Union member states as well as countries including the United States and the United Kingdom have begun imposing sanctions on prominent Russian banks and individuals.

Moscow claims that Russian forces are to "perform peacekeeping functions", although Putin has said "the interests of Russia, the security of our citizens, are non-negotiable for us".

Several International Federations are "closely monitoring the situation" with regards to their events in Ukraine and Russia, including the International Volleyball Federation.

The Men's Volleyball World Championship is due to be held across 10 Russian cities from August 26 to September 11.

UEFA are under mounting pressure to move the men's Champions League Final from Saint Petersburg, while Poland's Minister of Sport and Tourism Kamil Bortniczuk suggested that the country's Football Association will seek for next month's FIFA World Cup qualifier in Russia to be moved to a neutral venue.