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MOSCOW, February 15, /ITAR-TASS/. There will be no need for Russia to spend much money to prepare the G8 summit to be held in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, the current venue of the Olympic Winter Games, in June of this year, presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said on Saturday, February 15.
“The G8 summit will cost us almost nothing,” he told Russia One television, adding that practically all necessary facilities had already been built for the Olympic Games. “This entire infrastructure will be used for the G8 summit,” he said. “This is also a part of the Olympic heritage, by the way,” he added.
“Those who could not come to the Olympic Games for some reason will hardly avoid coming here anyway because we will hold a G8 summit in the mountain cluster in June, and [world] leaders will go there all the same,” Ivanov said.
He said he could often hear about “insane” expenditures incurred by the Olympic Games. “True, a lot of money was spent, primarily on non-sport facilities. I oversaw transport for many years, and I can assure you that the bulk of money went into transport: railways, tunnels and bridges that will serve Russians for a hundred years afterwards,” he said.
Ivanov also commented on the statements about a boycott of the Olympic Games in Sochi. “It’s funny to hear that,” he said, laughing. “Over 60 heads of state and governments [visited the Olympics], while the Turin and Vancouver Games were attended by only a half of that. So, being serious, there was no boycott, of course,” he said.
Ivanov believes that the criticism of the Olympic Games in Sochi should be taken calmly.
Russia is a democratic state where one “can say and write whatever he wants, including all sorts of nonsense.”
Commenting on remarks that refer to the Sochi Olympics as “a feast in time of plague,” Ivanov said they should be taken calmly as “the overwhelming majority of people, at least 99 percent as a minimum, will say that everything is fine.”
Ivanov said he had met with Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014, and he assured him that “everything is fine, don’t listen to anyone… the important thing is to do your job well.”
President Vladimir Putin said he was hopeful that the facilities built for the Olympic Games would be used after them as well.
“I hope that things will go the way they have been going until now,” he said at a meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach earlier in the day.
Bach admired the Sochi Olympics and commended their excellent organization.
“You have probably heard everyone you met say this - the Games are organized excellently,” he said.
Bach said the athletes liked the fact that sport facilities were close to the Olympic Village and said everything was organized so well that there was no need to hold daily coordinating meetings.
“There are no problems and there is nothing to discuss,” he added.
The IOC president noted a record number of TV viewers watching the Games in more than 200 countries on five continents, and lauded volunteers for their efforts, which he said was one of the advantages of the Sochi Olympics.
Bach expressed confidence that the next Olympic week would be just as successful as the two previous ones.