Wimbledon lifted its ban on Russian and Belarusian players on Friday and will allow them to compete in the grasscourt Grand Slam this year as "neutral" athletes in a climbdown from the stance it took after the war broke out in 2022.
The players must not receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian states, tournament organisers the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said in a statement.
"Our wholehearted support remains with the people of Ukraine," AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said. "This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted.
"It is our view that, considering all factors, these are the most appropriate arrangements for The Championships for this year."
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Wimbledon's decision was "immoral" and urged Britain to deny Russian and Belarusian players visas.
"Has Russia ceased its aggression or atrocities? No, it's just that Wimbledon decided to accommodate two accomplices in crime," Kuleba wrote on twitter.
Wimbledon had said last year that barring players from the two countries was its only viable option under guidance provided by the British government.
Wimbledon said in its statement on Friday that the option of personal player declarations was not viable last year, but these difficulties had since been overcome following engagement with the government and tennis stakeholders.
It added the approach had the support of the government, Britain's Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the men's ATP, the women's WTA and global tennis body the ITF.
Due to last year's ban, Wimbledon had its ranking points taken away. The WTA and ATP Tours also imposed huge fines on the LTA and the AELTC.
The ATP and WTA welcomed the lifting of the ban, saying it took a collaborative effort to arrive at a "workable solution" that protects the fairness of the game.
"This remains an extremely difficult situation and we would like to thank Wimbledon and LTA for their efforts in reaching this outcome, while reiterating our unequivocal condemnation of Russia's war on Ukraine," the two governing bodies said. (Reuters)