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Visit to the Coastal Olympic Village

February 5, 2014, Sochi

Vladimir Putin visited the Coastal Olympic Village, inspected the site’s infrastructure, and spoke with athletes and journalists. 

Mayor of the Coastal Olympic Village, two-times Olympic pole-vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva showed the President around the village. Mr Putin was also accompanied by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko. The President visited, in particular, the fitness centre, recreation centre, and the canteen. 

The Coastal Olympic Village is located in the Imeretin Valley on the Black Sea coast. The Village will house more than 2,000 athletes and officials during the Olympics and 350 athletes and delegation members during the Paralympics.

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Answers to journalists’ questions during a visit to the Coastal Olympic Village

Question: Mr President, you have meetings scheduled here with heads of state and government. There is a tradition to use the pause offered by the Olympic Games to work on solving the global problems. What kind of advice would you give them during this Olympic pause?

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: They do not need my advice. They are their countries’ leaders and very experienced people. Since we will be meeting with each other, we will discuss various issues anyway, one way or another. I am sure that we should make maximum use of this pretext and opportunity to meet and discuss things in a calm, neutral and very friendly atmosphere in order to look for common ground if we have differences on this or that matter, so as to make progress in resolving any of the problems before us, and there is no shortage of problems in the world. I hope that this friendly setting will help us to resolve these problems.

Question: Which issues would you focus on in these discussions?

Vladimir Putin: There are many problems. You know them too and so there is no need to list them. But each country has its own priorities. Our colleagues from Asia will be coming, and they are worried of course about what will happen in Afghanistan after the forces there withdraw. This is an issue of concern to us too because these are Russia’s southern neighbours. We know what the situation is like there as far as the borders are concerned, and we know that there are still problems with border security. There are many problems, many economic problems too. I think that one way or another we will discuss all of these issues in priority during these meetings, security, the economy, the Middle East, Afghanistan and other matters.

Question: Mr President, everyone’s greatest concern is security at the Games. How guaranteed is security?

Vladimir Putin: This is always everyone’s biggest worry, not just at big international events, but at big political events too. We all remember the tragic moments at past international competitions, in the United States for example, when people were killed at the marathon, and this was all not so long ago. And the Olympics have had their share of tragedies too, sadly, as have events such as the G8, when terrorist attacks took place in the London underground.

But I want to thank our colleagues from practically all of the countries involved in one way or another with organising these Games, because they are working together very actively with their Russian partners. You know that we have set up an operations headquarters here, where our colleagues are present the whole time too, working round the clock: intelligence services representatives and law enforcement officers from many different countries.

February 5, 2014, Sochi