Mykhailo Federov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine, has issued a statement to game development companies and esports platforms asking them to block Russian and Belarusian players and teams from participating in events.
His appeal follows the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24. Since then, numerous world organizations have issued sanctions against Russian citizens, organizations, and oligarchs.
“The whole world is repelling the aggressor through the imposition of sanctions – the enemy must suffer significant losses. But we need your support,” Fedorov said in the statement.
“I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus,” he added.
Fedorov believes that doing this will “motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression.”
Since the invasion of Ukraine began in February, strong sanctions have been made against Russia. The European Union, Canada, and the United States have closed their airspace to Russian aircraft. FIFA and UEFA suspended Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions. And the European Union is working on removing Russian banks from the SWIFT system.
Esports organizations have also banned Russian-based teams from participating in events. On March 1, BLAST Premier started the trend by becoming the first organizer to do so. Elisa Esports did the same today.