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MOSCOW, January 23, 2:39 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that the costs of the development of Sochi as a venue of the upcoming Olympic Games were reasonable.
When asked to specify which of the two figures - 6.4 billion U.S. dollars stated by the Russian government or 50 billion U.S. dollars, according to other sources - was right, Medvedev noted that both were right but they were applicable to different tasks. “The costs for the Olympics themselves are a bit more than 200 billion rubles. That is the figure which you named in dollars. [$6.4 BILLION],” he said. “But if we speak about the costs for development of Sochi for creating road infrastructure, transport area, railroads, to solve difficult infrastructural problems in Sochi, which were accumulated during decades - there was no water supplies, proper water supplies. There was bad power supply. So those figures are of course larger. But those costs were to develop one of our regions. And these had positive results.”
The Russian prime minister noted that Sochi was not a central European city, or any well-developed city of Russia or the United States. “This is a resort, but it’s a sea resort and we are holding Winter Olympics there. And we are to hold them in a difficult mountain conditions. So we understood that on the whole, the costs of the Olympics will be large,” he said. “I'd just like to separate the costs of the preparation of the Olympics - that's the venues, that's the number of infrastructural objects for the Olympics on the one side, and the development of Sochi itself on the other side. Those figures cannot be mixed up, because the Olympics will pass, the sports events will finish. But Sochi will have another life infrastructure.”
When asked whether he tough 50 billion U.S. dollars a reasonable figure for developing a region, Medvedev said confidently, “If we speak about the development of the region, then yes, it is reasonable.”
“When we solve the Olympics task, we have also solved the development of the region in parallel,” he went on to say. “And now the results, the achievements, that is 500,000 new jobs, which is quite important for people living in the region, and the low, the almost naught, zero unemployment, I don't even speak about the new infrastructural projects, roads, bridges, tunnels, railroads, water supplies, power supplies, all that has been done.”
“Another factor, thanks to our work in Sochi and in the region as a whole, the environmental situation has got better. The quality of water has gotten better. The sea has got better because we were able to build the new cleaning facilities. That's not mentioned often, but it's important,” he added.