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Germany's Interior Minister to Sochi Olympics

BERLIN (AP) — Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will represent Germany at the Sochi Winter Olympics in February.

The ministry told The Associated Press that de Maiziere will "attend some competitions" and "support German athletes" and that 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 to the games later.

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 earlier this month that he would not travel to Russia.

World leaders have been critical of Russia's human-rights record and many countries are sending low-key delegations to Sochi.

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