President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends and colleagues, I am very glad to greet all of you once again.
Many of you – virtually all of you – have been in this country more than once and took part in organising different events. You know how sports life is organised here. I was eager to let you see how it is developing in the regions at the grassroots level.
We are in one of the regions. It is not a metropolis, not a city with a multi-million population. It is one of Russia’s small cities. We are trying to build sports facilities in such places as well.
Regrettably, this is certainly not enough. Speaking today at the meeting with my colleagues, with the Presidential Council on Sport, I said that 43 million people go in for sports here. However, this is less than some other countries, our neighbours have. We still have to do much in this respect, but the pace is good and we will continue moving in this direction.
You know that we also hold major sports events, world and European championships. We hosted the Olympic Games in Sochi recently, in 2014.
Mr Zhukov, Chairman of our National Olympic Committee, is actively working on the IOC’s instructions in China, helping our Chinese friends on the IOC’s behalf to prepare for the 2022 Olympic Games.
We are hoping that our contacts with you, heads of international sports organisations, will continue at the top level for the sake of developing sports in our countries and the world as a whole, for the sake of consolidating the Olympic movement and, most importantly, in the interests of millions of people.