President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
We are here today to discuss preparation of the facilities for the Olympic Games. We need to look at the extent to which all of the work is being carried out on schedule and according to plan.
I remind you that in accordance with the approved programme, we are to build more than 200 installations for the games. These include not only sports facilities but also a whole range of infrastructure installations covering transport, energy, communications, hotels and medical centres.
We also must not forget the urban development and city planning work, which is primarily the responsibility of the regional and municipal authorities. I stress that our primary task is to make Sochi a truly comfortable, convenient and modern city in which to live.
A major programme to modernise the city’s housing stock and transport and engineering infrastructure has already been drawn up. Money will be allocated from the federal budget for this work. Finally, the Olympic Games offer a powerful incentive for private investment in developing the city and the region as a whole.
Aside from the leadership of Krasnodar Region and the city of Sochi, present here today are also the heads of a number of federal ministries and agencies. We have brought you all together in order to ensure that everyone involved in this process can better coordinate their activities.
The timetable for large-scale and technically difficult work should be strictly respected at all stages. I want to add that a commission from the IOC will visit Sochi very soon and we will have to provide them with complete and exhaustive information on the current state of progress.
There are several points to which I want to draw your particular attention today.
First, as we agreed, this year we need to reach a final decision on the amount of land we will need to purchase as sites for the Olympic facilities. As I have said before, the owners’ interests must be given maximum consideration.
Second, Olimpstroi’s supervisory board has already approved documents that make it possible to start designing the Olympic facilities and looking for investors and sub-contractors.
Work on organising tenders for selecting designers, engineering companies, real estate value assessors and insurance companies is near completion.
Design work is already underway for 72 facilities, and terms of reference for the design of another 52 facilities have already been drawn up and approved by the Organising Committee.
It is important to create a genuinely competitive environment among the private construction companies, including through tenders that are as open and transparent as possible. Only by working openly and transparently can we guarantee high-quality work and construction at a fair but not excessive, monopoly-dictated price.
I ask you to be as responsible as possible in drawing up estimates and expense plans. Estimates for all of the facilities should be the object of thorough and professional verification. Starting with the tender process and the selection of sub-contractors and suppliers, an economical and rational approach to spending should be part of the work at every stage.
I repeat that all the rules of the game should be totally transparent for both Russian and foreign participants.
Third, not only Russian businesses but also many of our foreign partners are showing big and specific interest in building the Olympic infrastructure. A fair number of meetings with foreign companies have already taken place. I ask you to give this work your substantial attention. We need to choose the partners who can offer us the best options in terms of both quality and price.
A good pace has already been set overall for the Sochi project. The necessary organisational and management structures, including the state corporation, Olimpstroi, were all set up on schedule. As we promised the international sports community, we have passed a package of ‘Olympics laws’ and work is underway on a whole series of related regulations that will build on these laws.
All of this gives us cause to affirm that we will respect in full all of our obligations to the International Olympic Committee and that Russia will gain a world-class sports centre and mountain resort.
At the same time, this will give a powerful boost to developing the entire southern region of the country and addressing extremely important social, economic and infrastructure issues.
This is our common responsibility. We have agreed together on a timetable for work and I have brought you together here to look at where we stand with this timetable today.