October 27 - Sochi's preparations to host the 2014 Winter Olympics have been praised by Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


He said:  "I am extremely pleased by the pace and quality of the preparations in Sochi."


His comments followed assurances from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak that all Olympic facilities in Sochi would be ready in time.


The Russian Black Sea resort, which was awarded the 2014 Games at the IOC Session in Guatemala City in July 2007, needs to build most of the sports venues and infrastructure from scratch.


Kozak said: "We have no grounds for pessimism or fears that something will not be done in time."

Rogge said: "Sochi was awarded the Games just a little over two years ago and I am very happy with the city's progress."


In September, Russia's Ministry of Regional Development said more than 1 trillion rubles (£21 billion) would be spent between 2009 and 2012 on the preparations for the Games in Sochi.