Putin warns construction companies to keep promises on Sochi 2014
Sunday, 13 May 2012
May 13 - Companies building the faciliities for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have been warned by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he expects them to complete the project on time and on budget and that he will not accept any delays.
The order came at the first meeting in the Black Sea resort devoted to preparations for Sochi 2014 since Putin was officially sworn in again as President last Monday (May 7).
"I would like to remind officials of the Government, and owners of private companies, when we started the Olympic construction, I asked to weigh all their forces, opportunities, and make thoughtful, responsible decisions about participation in the Olympic project," he said in a speech broadcast nationwide on television.
"You have made these commitments.
"If you feel any problem, solve it, please do.
"We are ready to lend a shoulder [to help], and you know, we do it, but want guarantees, not verbal assurances."
There are more than 500 building projects linked to Sochi 2014 with 135 of them planned to be completed by the end of this year - a schedule that Putin insists must be maintained.
"Much has been done, so that preparations go according to the schedule," he said.
"I'm aware of the desire of some ordering parties and subcontractors, to increase the cost of the sites now, in the final stages of the construction."
"This is unacceptable.
"All obligations [of the contractors] must be fulfilled in time."
Putin's warning followed a decision by his predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, to order Russia's Audit Chamber to review bank lending to construction projects for Games.
Valdimir Potanin said that his company, Interros, who are buiidling the Olympic ski resort, had underestimated the complexity of building the facilities for Sochi 2014.
"The main problem is that the Olympic project has turned out to be far bigger and more complicated than everyone suggested," he said.
"If investors are being confronted with the problem of profitability, then they [the Government] should extend financial support.
"It's not in the State's interests that investors are ruined, especially when their difficulties have partly arisen from requirements that were not known to the Games organisers at the start of the process."
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