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The Russian president visits several Olympic sites under construction in Sochi

February 07, 2013, 10:55 UTC+3

The media noted that a tense atmosphere was reigning at the Olympic construction sites before the visit of the president

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Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Olympic sites under construction a year before the Sochi Olympics. A nervous atmosphere preceded the visit and spread on the president. The president was dissatisfied with the condition of several Olympic sites under construction. The media noted that a tense atmosphere was reigning at the Olympic construction sites before the visit of the president.

Before Putin’s visit the atmosphere over the Olympic mountain cluster was becoming tenser, the RBC daily reported. Olympic Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak was joggling with the figures: the costs of the Sochi Olympics for the federal budget was changing from 750 billion roubles (a half of all expenses of 1.5 trillion roubles) to 100 billion roubles during one day, though only one relief road of the Kurortny Avenue will cost 90 billion roubles. “No one should not have a feeling that the golden shower is falling here,” Kozak assured journalists. He subtracted the contribution of investors from overall costs, the investments of VEB and Sberbank from the state allocations and the investments in regional development from 1.5 trillion Olympic roubles.

A tense atmosphere also affected the president, the newspaper noted. Visiting the mountain ski sport and tourist centre Gornaya Karusel (mountain carousel) (ski-jump ramps, bobsleigh and luge track, cross-country ski and biathlon centre), which were to be commissioned about two years ago, Putin asked: When? By the middle of summer, head of the Sochi Olympic organizing committee Dmitry Chernyshenko pledged. The president recalled that the schedule is disrupted. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak noted that the previous order contractor – Akhmed Bilalov’s company Krasnaya Polyana is to blame for this disruption.

Meanwhile, high guests from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were satisfied as always. Chairman of the IOC coordination committee Jean-Claude Killy recalled that he had observed all stages of Olympic construction for the last six years. The work done is exclusive, he said. Now the experts noted that 80% of works are completed, a ski-jump ramp is the only problematic site, he remarked. IOC Director General Gilbert Felli urged not to lose a minute in case of the ski-jump ramp. “I do not doubt that everything will be done according to the schedule and with the good quality,” Vladimir Putin pledged.

German Gref was nervous from the very first site of Putin’s inspection that is Gornaya Karusel, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily noted. The Russian savings bank Sberbank is in charge of the construction of the ski-jump ramps and the Media Village in the mountain cluster. The ski-jump ramps were built with a lag of two years behind the schedule, there is no infrastructure around them at all. To put it mildly, a Media Village is also far from being built. As a matter of fact, this situation was showed on the slides to Gref on the monitor and which he had to show to the president himself. The slides showed that the aggregate readiness level of the Olympic sites is 41%. So, more than a half of all works should be done for the remaining year.

In general, the builders should be given a credit, as most Olympic sites are completely ready or almost completely, and the competitions are already held at some of them, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily noted. For instance, the main railway station of the Olympic railway – the railway station Krasnaya Polyana is planned to be tested in the trial mode in April, and the passenger traffic is to be launched through it from October 2013. By the way, the builders noted that during the Olympics the railway station will have so-called “the dirty zone”, which is the place, where the passengers, who were not checked yet, arrived from the city by bus. Thirty-two checking points will operate, from which people will go out “clean” that is to say checked.






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