Russia spends $36.7bn on Olympics preparatory events

Russia spends $36.7bn on Olympics preparatory events

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia had spent 1.1 trillion rubles ($36.7 billion) on preparatory events for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games by the start of 2013, according to documents prepared for a first meeting on Friday of the state commission responsible for preparing for the Games, RIA Novosti reported.

Investors spent 737 billion rubles ($24.6 billion) of that sum on preparations for the Games, due to be held in the southern Russian resort of Sochi on the Black Sea next February.

A total of 1.5 trillion rubles ($50.1 billion) is to be spent on preparatory events. More than 70 percent of the facilities required for the Olympics are now ready with just over a year to go until competition starts.

The Kremlin said in mid-January that Russian President Vladimir Putin has set up a state commission to supervise preparation of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Putin personally lobbied International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials in 2007 to ensure Russia was granted its first Winter Games.

The 37-man Olympics preparation commission, which includes the entire Cabinet of ministers, as well as Sochi organizing committee officials, is led by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak.

He is tasked with producing three reports, one by August 1, a second by December 31, and a third by June 1, 2014, four months after the end of the Games.

Then-President Dmitry Medvedev promoted Kozak in 2008 from regional development minister to deputy prime minister in charge of preparations for the 2014 Games.

A packed test-events program is taking place this year, including stages in the world cup competitions in Alpine skiing, short-track speedskating and biathlon.

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