Lawmaker Davis Martins Daugavietis, Head of Latvian Parliament's Sports Subcommittee. SAEIMA

Latvia's parliament passed an amendment banning its national sports teams from competing against Russia and Belarus in a show of solidarity with Ukraine.

The amendment to the sports law bans ice hockey, football, basketball and other national teams from playing against Russia and its ally Belarus, regardless of whether they fly their own or neutral flags. Lawmakers also approved another amendment that prohibits sporting event organisers in Latvia from inviting the Russian and Belarusian national teams. The measure passed the 100-member parliament with 74 votes in favour and 11 against.

"The main purpose of the amendments is to reiterate Latvia's solidarity with Ukraine and to block any Russian attempts to legitimise its war crimes through peaceful means like sporting events," lawmaker Davis Martins Daugavietis, head of the parliament's sports subcommittee, said before the vote. If Latvia's teams end up in a position to compete against Russia or Belarus at the 2024 Paris Games, for example, they will be prohibited from doing so under the new law. The reigning Olympic champions in 3x3 basketball, who are from Latvia, have notably said their team will sit out the Summer Games if Russian athletes attend.