Russia will finance 2014 Winter Olympics, assures Putin

February 1st, 2009 - 12:03 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 31 (DPA) Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, has assured the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that his government remains fully committed to financing the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi despite the global economic crisis.Putin said Saturday at a meeting with the Games’ IOC coordinator Jean-Claude Killy in Sochi that the financing of the Games was secured in the State budget.

Earlier this week, Russian media reported that the rouble’s deprecation against the dollar and euro is causing havoc with the country’s financing of the 2014 Olympics due to the increased cost of importing raw materials.

It was also reported that the State now had to bear many of the high costs brought about by the rouble’s 40-percent depreciation against other major currencies because so many Russian oligarchs were suffering in the global economic crisis.

However, Russian telecommunications companies Rostelekom and Megafon were presented as sponsors Saturday with both firms agreeing to make a record $500 million available.

Around half the sum will be used to modernise infrastructure at the Black Sea resort.

The IOC warned Russia late last year that it needed to speed up construction in Sochi as, with only five years to go until the Games, work has yet to begin on most venues, transport and accommodation projects.

Despite the financial worries and a first budget deficit in a decade, Russia is also still looking to host the 2018 World Cup.

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