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KRASNOARMEISK /Moscow Region/, May 6. /TASS/. Russia will not be bidding for hosting Summer Olympic Games in the nearest future as the country is currently focused on the organization of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.
"Russia is capable of hosting major sports tournaments alone, including Olympic Games," Mutko told journalists. "Sochi 2014 [Winter Olympics] was an illustrative proof of it. However, we are not interested at the moment in hosting the Summer Olympics."
In February and March of 2014 Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi hosted Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which, according to international sports officials, athletes and visitors, were organized at the highest level possible and provided up-to-date infrastructure at all levels as well as security for all participants in the event.
"I would also add that that we did not receive proposals from neighbor countries concerning a joint bid for the Games," Mutko said. "We are currently completely focused on hosting the 2018 World Cup. Moreover, next year we are hosting the Ice Hockey [IIHF] World Championship and the 2019 Winter Universiade in in Krasnoyarsk."
Russia is currently gearing up for the world football championship’s Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition will be held on July 25 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg with a total of 208 nations having signed up for the participation in the event.
It will be for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the Preliminary Draw. Russia as the hosting nation automatically qualified for the championship and therefore is not taking part in the preliminary competition.
The first major kick-start event of the 2018 World Cup will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.