Amid fears of sanctions, Russian NHL athletes discuss applications for asylum or permanent residency in the US and Canada

The consequences of economic sanctions on Russian sports due to the invasion of Ukraine seem to be getting clearer by the day and this has resulted in a movement of Russian athletes trying to minimize these consequences.

The consequences of sports sanctions imposed on Russian athletes, scare the Russian players playing in the National Hockey League (NHL), athletes have reportedly contacted immigration lawyers in recent days to discuss apply for asylum and permanent residency in North America.

There is growing concern from athletes that the US and Canadian governments may delay or stop issuing new work permits and travel visas to Russian athletes, according to Joe Kirkwood, an expert immigration attorney.

As reported by Canadian channel The Sports Network (TSN), Kirkwood does not believe the Canadian and US governments will revoke visas for Russian players already playing in the NHL, “but there are valid concerns about what could happen with new visas in the future.” .

Kirkwood also noted that most Russian athletes playing in the league have long-term contracts that would make them all eligible to become permanent residents and not have to apply for asylum if they have the backing of their team.

Four-time Olympic biathlon champion Alexander Tikhonov speaks of ‘betrayal’

With the growing possibility of changing the nationality of Russian athletes as a way to avoid the sanctions imposed, the four-time biathlon champion Alexander Tikhonov, take a stand against this possible change.

“If our biathletes started changing their nationality in such a situation, it would be a real betrayal. I think they’re pretty serious people and they’re not going to take that step. Now, on the contrary, it is necessary to show that we are strong and respond to our country, no matter what,” concluded the athlete, in a statement to the Russian newspaper Sport 24.

It is noteworthy that athletes from Russia and Belarus were suspended from participating in competitions organized by the entity, due to the sanctions imposed due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Photo: Tass/ Sergey Sevostyanov

Hadwin Floyd

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