The Ukrainian city of Lviv has withdrawn its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in order to focus on its application for 2026.

The decision comes as a result of the present political and economic circumstances in Ukraine and leaves Oslo, Almaty and Beijing - of Norway, Kazakhstan and China - as the three remaining applicant cities for the 2022 Games.

In a statement, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said: "The preliminary evaluation by the IOC's working group found that the Lviv bid offered huge potential for future development.

"In my discussions with the Ukrainian Prime Minister (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) and NOC (National Olympic Committee) president (Sergey Bubka), we concluded that it would be extremely difficult to pursue the 2022 bid under the current circumstances, but that a future bid would make sense for Ukraine and Ukrainian sport."

Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk agreed that "a bid for 2026 would have excellent potential for the economic recovery of the country, and could have huge benefits for Ukrainian society."

For the NOC, president Bubka added: "We would like to thank the IOC very much for its help and understanding, as well as the great assistance that it has given to Ukrainian athletes from all parts of the country, both morally and financially."