Alexander Abt of Russia will not take part in men's events at the world figure-skating championships to be held in Washington /US/ on March 23rd-30th. Stanislav Timchenko has been invited to replace him.
The Russian team, as a result, has the following line-up. Lyudmila Nelidina, Yelena Sokolova and Victoria Volchkova will appear in women's singles. Yevgeny Plyushchenko, Stanislav Timchenko and Ilya Klimkin will skate in men's events.
Sports pairs will include Tatiana Totmyanina and Maxim Marinin, Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov and Yulia Obertas and Alexei Sokolov.
In dancing competitions Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh are favourites. Good showing is expected from the duet of Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov. Gifted young sportsmen Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin will keep the experienced masters company.
According to Valentin Piseyev, president of the Russian Figure-Skating Federation, the national team is to leave for Washington on March 21st, or rather those of its members who are still in Russia, because some of the sportsmen have already arrived in the US.
Piseyev also said that the championships' organisers had given assurances that nothing threatens the safety of participants. Most serious measures had been taken.
Any manifestations of Ukraine's military aggression after the announcement of the results of referendums should be regarded as acts of open aggression against the civilian population of Russia