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International Forum Russia – Country of Sports

October 10, 2019, Nizhny Novgorod

Vladimir Putin addressed the plenary session of the Russia – Country of Sports International Forum.

This year’s theme is Development of Sport in Partnership with the International Community. The forum, established 10 years ago, brings together more than 3,000 participants.

At the end of the plenary session, the President visited the exhibition Modern Sport: Innovations and Prospects.

The President viewed the display stands of the Russian Football Union and the Union of European Football Associations dedicated to Russia’s hosting of several UEFA Euro 2020 matches.

2020 UEFA European Football Championship will be held in 12 cities in Europe including St Petersburg. President of the Russian Football Union Alexander Dyukov briefed the President on the preparations for the international tournament. Vladimir Putin also spoke with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.

After that the President visited the stand of the Boxing Federation of Russia and met with representatives of the Russian team. The boxers gave Mr Putin a diamond boxing glove.

In addition, the President became interested in the Become a Champion experimental mobile platform display. Minister of Sport Pavel Kolobkov told the President that the platform is designed to test children aged between 6 and 12 to identify their possible sports talents. The experiment is currently underway in eight Russian regions.

* * *

Speech at the plenary session of the International Forum Russia – Country of Sports

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,

We are delighted to welcome the leaders of the global sports community, the heads of international sports organisations, top athletes and all our colleagues and partners who are interested, just as we are, in promoting successful and confident development of sports and in preserving the humanitarian potential of sports and the basic principles of accessibility, equality and honest and fair competition.

The continued promotion of the noble sports values, which unite the world, is a key goal of our large and multinational sports family. We must work together to attain this goal based on the tried and tested norms and rules, hear and respect each other and develop a constructive and friendly dialogue.

The International Forum Russia – Country of Sports is intended to promote exactly such an approach to our common and possibly even great cause. The first such forum was held 10 years ago, but its format is still in demand, while an opportunity to freely exchange information and access to open discussion platforms are becoming increasingly important.

Sport has long become an integral part of social life, and it is society that should determine its development vectors and global agenda. In particular, society should propose new sports and new forms of competition for the international calendar of official sports events, those which are really interesting for the people and which encourage them to take up sports and live an active and healthy life.

Russia has proposed holding CIS Games, and the first such games will be held in Kazan in August 2020. We have also supported the idea of BRICS Games, which will be held next year in Chelyabinsk, in the Urals.

Open sports competitions in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) have good prospects as well. We are happy that close cooperation with our partners in these authoritative international venues cover sports as well. Our colleagues enthusiastically supported all our proposals.

Let me repeat that Russia has always been and remains ready for cooperation on all issues on the global sports agenda. We try to use the best practices in organising sports events, and we have effectively used innovations and other scientific achievements in sports.

For our part, we will share our experience in holding events, from small tournaments to major global championships.

Naturally, Russia, a country that has given sports hundreds of outstanding names and records, and whose athletes set new sports records, despite everything, remains one of the leading participants in sports.

We are constantly in contact with the International Olympic and Paralympic committees, and the relevant UNESCO and Council of Europe agencies, where our experts take part in drafting the latest European programmes and conventions.

We also cooperate with WADA. Russia strictly complies with all of its requirements. This country and our athletes are particularly interested in leaving the setbacks linked with anti-doping issues in the past. They want to perform as equals, demonstrate their skills without any reservations and serve as examples both for professionals and for sports fans, and first and foremost, for young people.

The quality of life, the physical condition and physical ability to work have a comprehensive impact on the sustainable socioeconomic development and well-being of people in general. This is one of the reasons sports are a state priority in many countries.

I am very pleased to note that recently the World Health Organisation noted our progress in this area and indicated that in recent years Russia had sharply reduced – which is very good – the consumption of hard liquor and is more engaged in sports activities.

This led to a significant increase in life expectancy in Russia. The credit for this goes primarily to you.

I want to say a few words to my colleagues from Russia who are involved in promoting physical fitness and sport.

We plan to involve more than half of all Russian citizens in regular sports activities by 2024. We are doing our best to achieve this goal. We are building large and small sports facilities, upgrading parks, residential areas and cities with physical fitness in mind, equipping sports grounds and schools and creating athletic clubs and classes. The Russian regions and municipalities will play a major part in this work.

We will talk in detail about this with our colleagues right now during the Sports Council meeting, which will be held here, in Nizhny Novgorod and discuss ways to improve our legislation and the additional measures to be taken to make sport not just a staple activity, but a vital necessity. I am convinced we will certainly be able to achieve this goal if we work together.

Friends, colleagues, I wish you success during the forum and in your work in general, which everyone in the world and in the countries you represent need so much.

Thank you.

October 10, 2019, Nizhny Novgorod