Germany’s interior minister to attend Sochi Games

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.