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International Forum Russia – Country of Sports

October 9, 2014, Cheboksary

Vladimir Putin took part in the 5th International Sports Forum Russia – Country of Sports.

The Forum’s theme is Global Unity Lies in Sports Unity: Common Interests Strategy. In particular, the agenda includes such issues as the training of a pool of athletes, the revival of the GTO [Ready for Labour and Defence] fitness system and holding major athletic competitions in Russia.

Taking part in the forum are over 2,000 experts in fitness and sport from Russia and 20 other countries.

Vladimir Putin also visited a specialised sports school that trains young athletes for the Olympic team and met with members of the Russian national team at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics. The President congratulated the young athletes on their success.

The Russian team came in second at the II Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, winning 27 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronze medals.

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Address at the International Forum Russia – Country of Sports

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,

This is the fifth time the International Forum Russia – Country of Sports brings together leaders of world sports, inviting to a constructive, friendly professional dialogue all those for whom sports is not only a profession, but also a favorite and important pastime that takes up all their energy, skills and talent.

Attending the event today are heads of international sports organisations and, of course, our top national athletes. I am certain that the presence of such highly respected people will make this conversation constructive and fruitful, while the proposals you develop will make a marked contribution to the development of world sports.

I am referring now both to high performance and amateur sports. Its level largely determines the quality of life and directly depends on a modern and accessible sports infrastructure and conditions for private business to display its initiatives in this area.

I would like to stress that by consistently developing sports in the country, Russia has always been ready to actively participate in international efforts, international cooperation, including the work aimed at improving the common legal environment.

We have recently joined the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions; currently we are assisting in the drafting of a new European convention on spectator violence and misbehaviour at sports events. We intend to continue sharing our experience and best practices.

Sport is one of the few areas of human activity – one of the very few, unfortunately – where common principles have been established and they are abided by, while the existing international institutions fairly resolve complicated issues and sometimes even conflicts.

The contribution of sport to maintaining a stable dialogue between people is hard to overestimate. True sport has no borders or ethnicity. It is beyond politics and is aimed exclusively at promoting creativity and unity, which is its principal role today.

Here in Russia we treat as allies those who have joined our efforts to develop sport and promote its lofty humanitarian values among the public, those who are open to further substantive partnerships.

I would like to thank all of you for your work today, for everything you are doing to develop amateur and high performance sports, for bringing joy through your work to millions upon millions of people on the planet and here in Russia. Thank you very much.

Thank you for your attention.

October 9, 2014, Cheboksary