The South Korean government released an official statement on Thursday encouraging Russian individual athletes to take part in the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics.
 
In a statement, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism expressed regret over the International Olympic Committee's decision to bar Russia from competing in the Winter Games due to doping violations.
 
The statement said that, for the past seven years, South Korea and its people have made every effort to make the PyeongChang Olympics a global sports gala of peace and harmony.
 
It said the participation of athletes from all around the world in the Olympics is the key PyeongChang's success and the most important factor to realizing the spirit of the games. 

The statement then called on Russian athletes as well as athletes from other countries to actively take part in the Winter Games.