Putin urges Sochi construction push

Dec. 8, 2012 at 12:16 PM

SOCHI, Russia, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday urged a final push to wrap up construction of the 2014 Winter Olympics venue in Sochi.

Putin visited the new train station at the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort outside Sochi and said the pace of construction needs to pick up.

"It is very important not to lose our way, we must push through to the end in our great task," Putin said.

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said the Olympics construction program was about one-third completed, with some of the facilities due for test events this winter. A major figure skating competition concludes at the new ice arena Sunday.

Putin said the Sochi games would benefit Russia both through new infrastructure and the positive image of Russia it would create around the world.

"The Olympics are a great festival," he said. "And at a time when the world can't drag itself out of the financial crisis, it's a positive signal not only for our country, but a signal that comes from our country to spread joy and show that it's not only problems that we have, but also festivals."

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