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Putin: Sochi’s barrier-free environment standards must be introduced in all of Russia

March 06, 2014, 4:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 06, 3:42 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks that the Sochi Paralympic Games have set new standards of urban planning with due account of the needs of people with disabilities and hopes these standards would be applicable throughout the country.

“The organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi has actually set new, the most upgraded standards of urban planning oriented towards creating maximum comfortable conditions for people with limited abilities. The city residents and guests have already had a chance to see it,” Putin said in an interview with Russian and foreign media.

Russia ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2008, he reminded. “Efforts are now being taken in Russia under the state programme Wheelchair-friendly Environment to form the so-called barrier-free environment that ensures equal access for people with disabilities to engineering, transport and social infrastructure and communications facilities,” he noted. “We began the implementation of this programme in 2011 and have provided a substantial backing for it - more than 180 billion roubles (about five billion U.S. dollars).”

“We have yet a lot to do - as a matter of fact, we are just at the very beginning,” Putin admitted. “We we already have first results, for instance, in what concerns the accessibility of sports facilities and the development of adaptive physical culture and sports.”

“As of now, relevant institutions have been established in 40 Russia regions, and more such institutions will be opened in 13 regions more. Sectoral branches have been established under children’s sports schools in 26 regions. Apart from that, by the end of 2015, we plan to train more than 1,400 professional instructors,” he added.

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