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Putin arrives at Sochi’s Bolshoi Ice Dome to attend opening ceremony of Youth Festival

October 15, 18:26 UTC+3 SOCHI
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SOCHI, October 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived at Sochi’s Bolshoi Ice Dome to take part in the opening ceremony of the 19th Festival of Youth and Student.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier the president planned to visit the festival on the opening and closing days. He is expected to deliver a speech at the opening ceremony and speak with the festival’s participants.

"It will be a live conversation without any particular agenda. The participants are mostly foreigners, it will be a free conversation," Peskov said, giving no exact timeframe of the talk.

During the following days, "the president will communicate with the participants of the festival in various formats," he added.

"We expect that on the dates close to the Valdai Forum, Putin will also have a conversation with the participants of the World Festival of Youth and Students in various formats," the spokesman said.

Russia hosts the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students on October 14-22. The official opening and main events will take place in Sochi’s Olympic Park on October 15-22.

Taking part in the forum would be more than 20,000 young men and women, including 10,000 foreigners. Nearly 180 countries applied for participation.

During the first days of the festival 2,000 foreign guests will tour 15 regions of Russia under an unprecedented regional program.

Moscow hosted two world festivals - in 1957 and 1985. The 6th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1957 was the largest-ever, with 34,000 young men and women from 100 countries taking part.

The Russian news agency TASS is the festival’s general information partner and official photo host.

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