The Kremlin is hopeful Russia can repair its relationships with worldwide sporting bodies following the doping scandal after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to conditionally lift its suspension on the country.
The IPC announced yesterday that a near three-year ban on the Russian Paralympic Committee, which officially kept the nation out of two consecutive editions of the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018, would come to an end on March 15.
A series of post-reinstatement conditions set to remain in place until December 31, 2022 were established by the IPC and Russia has been warned that a failure to meet these requirements could result in the suspension being reimposed.
Russia, controversially reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last year, must also not be declared non-compliant and the RPC must contribute to the IPC's "significant costs" which arose from the increased testing of Russian athletes.
Russian athletes will only be able to compete at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 if they have met the specified testing requirements.
The Kremlin reacted positively to the announcement from the IPC, with Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claiming it was "undoubtedly happy for our Paralympians".
"[Russian President] Vladimir Putin has never denied them his attention and has always expressed his full and unconditional support and everyone in our country always admires the heroism and skills of our Paralympians," Peskov told Russia's official state news agency TASS.
"Through the constructive and transparent work, our sports authorities will be able together with their colleagues to turn over this page [related to the doping scandal] in the relationships with international sports organisations."
RPC President Vladimir Lukin welcomed the decision from the IPC and claimed the governing body was ready to implement the post-reinstatement conditions.
"We have thoroughly studied all IPC requirements and will study them even more in the future," Lukin told TASS.
"We believe that there is nothing in them to pose obstacles for our constructive work.
"All set requirements can be accomplished."
IPC President Andrew Parsons confirmed the organisation's taskforce on Russia had unanimously decided the reinstatement criteria had not been met owing to the country's refusal to accept the McLaren Report.
Parsons claimed, however, that it was unfair to punish athletes and maintaining the RPC suspension was "no longer necessary and proportionate" as 69 of the 70 conditions had been met.
"Of course we cannot forget what happened," Parsons said in an interview with TASS.
"We still think that it would have been good - the acknowledgement of the McLaren report, and we have said it before.
"During these additional three and a half years of the close monitoring we will address the concerns raised by Professor McLaren in his report.
"I don’t think the story is done because we still have three years and a half when we will be closely monitoring the RPC and the Russian Para-athletes differently from other athletes.
"On December 31, 2022, I hope, will be finally able to say that this is in the past now."
5 years since the biggest doping scandal in Paralympic history. No results disqualified. No medals taken away. No cheaters punished. Just move on like it never happened. Got it.— Andy Soule (@ASouleUSA) February 8, 2019
In contrast to the widespread outcry when WADA reinstated Russia last September, the reaction to the IPC's decision was largely supportive, although some athletes did speak out against it.
IPC Athletes' Council chairperson Chelsey Gotell had admitted it would not be met with approval by everyone but insisted it was the right call.
"Five years since the biggest doping scandal in Paralympic history," retired double Paralympic medallist Andy Soule of the United States wrote on Twitter.
"No results disqualified.
"No medals taken away.
"No cheaters punished.
"Just move on like it never happened.