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Beginning of a Meeting with Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko and Presidential Aide and Secretary of the State Council Alexander Abramov

September 4, 2008, Bocharov Ruchei, Sochi

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Colleagues! The Summer Olympics in Beijing have just concluded. We must take stock of this event, not just to pat ourselves on the back but to take a hard look at where training could have been improved, what conclusions we can draw from this, keeping in mind the overall preparation of our athletes, as well as the material conditions available for physical education and sport in our country. In this connection, in about a month we will be holding a joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Presidential Council for Sport that will take up these matters. I would like you to make suggestions concerning which issues we need to discuss first and which decisions we have to make, including ones that would change the programmes already in place that are aimed at the development of physical culture and sport in our country.

Secretary of The State Council Alexander Abramov: Dmitry Anatolyevich, as per your instructions a working group has been established to prepare proposals for the State Council. It has been at work for several months now. Preparations are now in the final stages. It can profit from the experience and results at the Olympics. We are analysing all of these things and will be ready to report at the beginning of October.

Dmitry Medvedev: Good. So much for the timing – please tell us more about what has been done.

Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko: First, I would like to thank you for your support, for your personal contribution. At present we are working hard on evaluating the performances of our athletes. And I think that by the end of November we will have a plan ready to prepare for the Games in London. This will be an important programme that all our experts will have agreed upon. And I think that this programme will enable us to perform successfully at the Olympics in London.

With regard to the Council, we are now finishing our job: a report has already been prepared. We would like the State Council to pay particular attention to several issues: first of all, as you know, the government has prepared a programme for the country's development through to 2020. We would like to see a similar programme for the development of physical culture and sport, and will be reporting on elements of the programme to the State Council.

Dmitry Medvedev: I would put it this way: a long-term programme for the development of physical culture and sport should be one of the elements of the country's development strategy between now and 2020.

Vitaly Mutko: Under this programme, we would like to pay particular attention to the development of physical culture and sport for the general population, as well as to sport in schools. In principle the idea is to establish a single, nationwide programme for the development of sport for children and youth, all the way from elementary school to university. This will be a very important document. Of course, this will require improving the way sport is administered in Russia.

Today we have a lot of institutions that deal with the development of physical culture and sport. For this reason we need a very strict management system for sport that would be results-oriented.

Of course at the Council in accordance with your requests and those of the Government, we will be reporting on the progress of the federal target programme. We will be making further changes to it. It has now been set up to make specific preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games and the Olympic Games in Vancouver. There has already been a marked improvement: the government cabinet is allocating about 27 billion rubles between now and 2011, with a view to responding to various requests that you made concerning specific sports facilities and databases. Under this programme through to 2011 we will be building a number of federal centres for winter sports.

Dmitry Medvedev: What kind of centres?

Vitaly Mutko: These will be federal centres, but we are not focussing only on Moscow and the Moscow region. There will be one in the Krasnoyarsk region, a ski centre, and winter sports centres in the Leningrad region. Under this programme there will be another 9 regional centres. These are the growth areas in winter sports where our prospects are good. And on the basis of these centres we would set up regional centres for different sports: the biathlon, bobsled and others. In other words, this is a programme that has already been adopted, and we are beginning to implement it.

When you met with our football players, you gave instructions on the development of football in the country and supported the idea of establishing a special programme. The government has adopted a programme for the development of football in the country. This is a huge programme – one billion twenty million rubles a year. And for this programme up to 2015, we must build 540 soccer fields for general education schools and special football schools. We are also building 7 riding academies. These will be indoor facilities that will be built, starting in Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk… This will be done to ensure that regional centres can extend their current possibilities for holding physical education classes in general and of football in particular.

Dmitry Medvedev: But we still need more than just football pitches for schools. It goes without saying that that is where football should begin. But we also need full-fledged, large stadiums in major cities. We have gone over all of this before. We need larger facilities. I would like to look at a summary of all these proposals and to look at other possibilities in the ministries and the cabinet, in order to involve the [Presidential] Executive Office in this endeavour. And a draft of a presidential order based on the work done by the State Council and Council for Sport should be prepared.

September 4, 2008, Bocharov Ruchei, Sochi