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Duel: Lawyer in the case Konstantin Lukhanov – needs Joe Biden's signature

Duel: Lawyer in the case Konstantin Lukhanov – needs Joe Biden's signature

The interview was conducted in cooperation with the Nordic public service companies Yle and NRK.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 25-year-old fencer Konstantin Lukhanov chose to immigrate to the United States.

He is a double world champion in fencing in the junior and junior categories, and participated in the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

Today he lives near San Diego, California and works as a fencing coach at a children's academy. He stopped his sports career.

-I don't have big dreams. I want to get citizenship, start dueling, and settle everything. After that, I can dream a little bigger, he says.

She wants to take this issue to the US Congress

Attorney Jack Weiner represents Konstantin Lokhanov and two other Russian fencers, married couple Sergey Bedda and Violetta Khrabina Bedda, who also live in California.

Weiner is doing his best to obtain American citizenship for the trio of Russian duelists faster than the usual process, which could take years.

But that requires the US Congress to vote on the exemption signed by the US President.

Hear more from attorney Jack Weiner in the player above.

Since 2023, the USA Fencing Federation has allowed Russian fencers living in the United States to compete in American competitions as neutrals, as long as they sign a public declaration condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The duelists are in a compromise

In the summer of 2023, Konstantin Lokhanov won the US Fencing Championship in Phoenix.

But he's still not fit for the Olympics this summer. The problem is that he and the Bida couple are still in limbo: They don't represent Russia, they don't represent the United States, and they don't meet the criteria to represent a refugee team at the Olympics.

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-If it doesn't work out in Paris, we'll keep working so they can compete for the United States at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, says Jack Weiner.