By Zjan Shirinian

Ukraine's athletes will step out into the Fisht Olympic Stadium for tonight's Opening Ceremony ©Getty ImagesMarch 7 - Ukraine will compete at Sochi 2014 it has been announced, after its National Paralympic Committee President met Russian leader Vladimir Putin last night in a call for peace.

Speaking at a news conference in Sochi, Valeriy Suskevich said he wants to focus on sport and the athletes, raising the Ukrainian flag in the Russian city for "peace".

In his half-hour meeting with President Putin last night, Suskevich said he asked him to ensure "significant" steps are made to support the rights of human beings and athletes for peace in "one's home country".

He added the Ukrainian delegation is staying in Sochi to be remembered as a country which sent a unified team.

But he said an "escalation of military conflict or intervention" into Ukraine would see his team leave Sochi.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven has praised Ukraine's decision to compete in Sochi.

"We are delighted by Ukraine's decision as we want sport to prevail and a full complement of teams to compete in what we are confident will be a fantastic Paralympic Winter Games," he said.

"All week the IPC has been working closely with the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee in an effort to keep them here in Sochi.

"The talking point of Sochi 2014 needs to be great sport and great athletes, not global politics.

"We want all the athletes who have trained for years to reach these Games to fully focus on events on the field as opposed to off.

"Now that a decision has been taken I hope this will be the case and the athletes and the sport will take centre stage and the headlines they deserve."

No athletes have so far said they are boycotting the Ggames in response to Russian troops entering Crimea last week, but European royals, including Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, have pulled out of attending.

The United States has also said it will not send a delegation to the Games.

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