Putin: Russian Federation did not cause the harsh circumstances under which the Paralympics are being held

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Paralympic Games in Sochi stayed beyond politics.

At a meeting with the leaders of National Paralympic Committees Russian president thanked them for the fact that the Paralympics “were left out of politics and they were not affected by difficult circumstances.” “I want to assure you that Russia was not the initiator of the difficult events that you are aware of”, – Putin said.

The President noted that “Russia sincerely sought for Paralympic Games to be held at the highest level, and serve to strengthen the spirit of the Paralympic Movement and its values ​​not only in Russia, but throughout the world.”

Medvedev Met with Prime Ministers of Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria in Sochi

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is now in Sochi, held on Friday “on the margins” of the Olympics brief conversations with his colleagues from Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria, the press service of the government said.

Brief meetings between Medvedev and Prime Ministers of Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski, of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevicius, of Moldova Yuri Leanca and Romania Victor Ponta were held in Sochi in the afternoon, “Interfax” reports.

As the Lithuanian government reported earlier, Butkevičius planned to discuss with Russian Prime Minister bilateral economic relations and the upcoming April Economic Forum Russia – Lithuania in St. Petersburg.

Putin: Russia Is Ready for the Olympics, Which Was a Major National Project

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Russia is ready to hold the Olympic Games in Sochi, which, in fact, was a major national project, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

“The holding of these games became a major industrial construction project, it is the biggest construction site in the world”, – Putin said at the welcoming ceremony with the members of the Russian Olympic team at the Olympic Village.

He reminded that the construction was carried out from scratch, including the mountain region, which is a difficult task.

“Russia has been preparing for seven years for this event. This became a major national project”, – Putin said.

“Russia is ready for the Olympics,” – said the head of state.

Putin to Meet Foreign Counterparts in Sochi over Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was planning to meet his foreign counterparts in Sochi for talks on Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“I’m sure that we’ll use the Olympic Games in order to talk in a calm and benevolent atmosphere,” Putin said while visiting the Athletes’ Village on Wednesday.

“It is necessary to use this opportunity in order to search for common points and move forward to solve problems,” the president said, adding “There are many problems in the world.”

Answering what problems can be raised at the meetings, Putin said: “Syria, Ukraine: there are many problems and you know them.”

“Partners from Asian countries seek to know what will happen in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of coalition forces,” added Putin. “This problem also draws our concern. One can’t say the border is locked,” the president said.

“We can discuss security, economy, the Middle East and Afghanistan,” the president said.

President Putin to Spend the Last Pre-Olympic Week in Sochi

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will spend the last pre-Olympic week in Sochi meeting the International Olympic Committee leadership and his foreign colleagues who will attend the Sochi Olympic Games opening ceremony alongside with the Russian president on February, 7.

The Kremlin press service told Itar-Tass that on Tuesday Putin was expected to deliver a speech at the opening of the 126th session of the International Olympic Committee where he would have a chance to meet the IOC members.

On February 5, the Russian president will visit the coastal Olympic village where he will welcome a Russian Olympic Committee delegation. He will also see how the Russian national flag is going to be raised. After that, Putin will talk to the athletes of the Russian Olympic team and will make a short tour of the village to see its infrastructure.

On Thursday, February 6, Putin will start a series of meetings with foreign colleagues, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and some other foreign leaders.

Russia, China to “Synchronize Watches”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping “will synchronize watches” on details of Russian-Chinese cooperation during Xi’s visit to Russia on February 6 – 8 to join the Olympics opening ceremony, Russian ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told a news conference on Tuesday.

“Both Chinese and Russian sides are actively preparing” for this event, “highly important not only for the two countries but for the whole world”, Denisov said, adding that daily consultations with colleagues from the Chinese foreign ministry were underway.

Denisov said that although more than 60 high-level officials were planning to attend the opening ceremony in Sochi, Xi Jinping’s visit “will certainly be of special meaning for the Russian people”.

“As I see it, the two leaders want to ‘synchronize watches’, exchange opinions on a wide range of issues in bilateral relations and on the international agenda, specify each other’s positions and launch the 2014 program of political exchanges and contacts that will develop accords to be reached in Sochi,” Denisov said.

Medvedev Appoints Andrey Cherezov Deputy Minister of Energy

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Andrey Cherezov Deputy Secretary of Energy. The corresponding order was posted on the official website of the Cabinet of Ministers.

As explained by the representative of the Ministry of Energy, before the appointment Cherezov served in the structures of Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System and was appointed Deputy Minister for the period of the Sochi Olympics 2014 to coordinate efforts to ensure uninterrupted power supply of the Olympic facilities.

Putin to See the Sochi Olympic Games Medals on Thursday in St. Petersburg

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On Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to St. Petersburg will be shown the Sochi Olympic Winter Games medals of 2014, the press service of the Kremlin said.

“During his working visit to St. Petersburg on May 30, Russian President will meet with members of the International Olympic Committee, Putin will be shown the Olympic and Paralympic medals, which will be awarded to the winners of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi,” – the report said.

Putin will hold talks with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Horn, the press release confirmed.

IOC Pays Visit to Sochi to Check on Preparations

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With the Winter Games less than a year away, International Olympic Committee inspectors are paying their latest visit to Sochi to check on preparations. The IOC coordination commission, headed by Jean-Claude Killy, began two days of meetings and site visits Tuesday in the Black Sea resort. It is the panel’s ninth and penultimate trip to Sochi before the opening of the games on Feb. 7, 2014. Russia is spending more than $50 billion on venues and infrastructure projects to prepare for its first Winter Games. Also taking part in this week’s meetings are leaders of the seven winter sports federations on the Olympic program.