Posted: Thursday December 19, 2013 12:17 PM

Germany's interior minister to attend Sochi Games

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BERLIN (AP) - Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will represent Germany at the Sochi Olympics in February.

The ministry told The Associated Press that de Maiziere will ''attend some competitions'' and ''support German athletes'' and the precise schedule of the trip will be decided in January.

Spokesman Philipp Spauschus could not say if de Maiziere would attend the opening ceremony or would travel later to the games.

De Maiziere's ministry is also responsible for sports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never attended such a ceremony in eight years in office.

Germany's President Joachim Gauck said this month that he would not travel to Russia.

World leaders have been critical of Russia's human-rights record, including a new anti-gay law, and many countries are sending low-key delegations to Sochi.
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