SOCHI, February 7 (Itar-Tass) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, exactly one year before the opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi, will hold a “debriefing” – a meeting on the results of a two-day inspection of the Olympic facilities. He will also attend the opening ceremony of the countdown to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
On Wednesday, Putin inspected in detail the facilities of the mountain cluster. On Thursday, he will familiarise himself with the commissioned Olympic facilities and the faculties under construction of coastal cluster in the Imereti Valley. He is expected to visit the newly built Olympic Village, the main Media Centre, the Adler-Arena indoor skating centre, the Ice Cube ice arena for curling, as well as the large and small ice hockey arenas.
The meeting will focus, in particular, on the created social, engineering and transport infrastructure in Sochi. Issues related to the competition events before and during the Olympics, the reception of the participants and guests will be discussed.
Putin will also attend the ceremony to mark one year before the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, which will be held in the Big Ice Arena. This ceremony will launch the countdown of 365 days to the opening of Russia’s first Winter Olympics. The program includes: the official launch of the Sochi 2014 ticket program, the ceremonial presentation of invitations to the Sochi Olympic Games to the representatives of the National Olympic Committees, as well as an ice show.
During the inspection of the mountain cluster on Wednesday Putin made a special emphasis on the issue of increased costs and delays in the construction of sports facilities in Sochi.
After the inspection the RF president demanded to strictly control the Olympic facilities’ construction costs.
“As for the bureaucratic procedures, they can be simplified,” Putin said. “The main thing is to prevent stealing and unjustified cost growth,” he said, admitting, however, given such a large scale of the planned expenditures, it is usually impossible to avoid exceeding of the planned costs, but the cost growth must be clearly explained.
“I hope that in spite of the technical difficulties, everything will be commissioned on time,” he stressed.
On the same day, at a meeting with IOC President Jacques Rogge and the IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy and IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli, Vladimir Putin told them that he has inspected the Olympic facilities.
“It was a purely working check and our discussion (with officials and representatives of the companies building the facilities) sometimes were unpleasant in nature, but in the course of such a large-scale work it is the way it should be: we must be maximally demanding to ourselves,” he stressed.
To all appearances, the officials responsible for the preparation for the Olympics are going to have an unflattering and sharp talk also at Thursday’s meeting.