Working Day

13 april, 2012 16:02

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the 18th ANOC General Assembly

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the 18th ANOC General Assembly
“Russia, which marked last November the 100th anniversary of its participation in the Olympic movement, understands the great significance of sport’s humanitarian mission and its enormous role in the life of individuals and in the life of nations.”
Vladimir Putin
At a meeting of the 18th ANOC General Assembly

Vladimir Putin’s address:

Esteemed Mr President of the International Olympic Committee, ladies and gentlemen. Allow me to cordially welcome you to Moscow. It’s a great honour for us to host so many world sport leaders and presidents of national Olympic committees and ministers of sports. [Your attendance] highlights the fact that this country attracts athletes and sport event organisers. And we think this is only logical because we indeed, as President Rogge (International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge) said, are doing a lot to develop sport and to support the Olympic movement. But today we have an important event – I’d like to congratulate His Highness Sheikh Al-Sabah on his election as president of the ANOC General Assembly.

Within the international sport community, Mr Al-Sabah is a well-known and respected man, who is fond of sports and who has done a lot for its development. I do not doubt that his many years of experience not only in sport but also in state administration, diplomacy, his extensive personal contacts with leading international and regional organisations will help our esteemed colleague to effectively address the tasks he faces. The values of the Olympic movement, revived by Pierre de Coubertin, have become an inseparable part of the history and culture of modern civilisation, have exerted significant influence on the philosophy of the modern world by defining the ethical principles and interests guiding the upbringing of millions of people.

Russia, which marked last November the 100th anniversary of its participation in the Olympic movement, understands the great significance of sport’s humanitarian mission and its enormous role in the life of individuals and in the life of nations. One has to admit that unfortunately the current stage in the development of civilisation is far from stable. Regional conflicts, social, ethnic and religious intolerance – all these phenomena pose global risks. This gives added weight to the Olympic movement’s mission to promote tolerance and friendship, the principles of fair play and mutual respect. It is a force that can make our world more humane, more just and more open.

This hall is filled with people from all over the world, people working to promote these noble goals. The current situation is complicated indeed, as we are well aware. The global financial markets are unstable. The difficult economic situation in many countries directly affects sport, but we are convinced that despite all the hindrances to the development of sport and to the Olympic movement, all these obstacles will be overcome.  Given prudent and wise approach, spheres such as sport and culture can, must and will become catalysts of economic growth and development.

Now, in this era of change, it is especially important for the international Olympic movement to find adequate responses to the challenges of the times. Current global trends in sport demand not only interaction but unified efforts of sport organisations and nations. We should work together to counteract such negative phenomena as doping and the distribution of banned drugs, match fixing and illegal betting operations. And, surely, it is necessary to fight the aggressive behaviour of those who pretend to be fond of sports. I am convinced that creating uniform rules, common approaches to organising sports must become the guiding principle of state and volunteer organisations engaged in promoting physical fitness and sport.    

Russia, for its part, is ready to play an active role on this. We share the opinion that the level of involvement of people in sports and physical activity reflects the quality of the state’s social policy, shows how responsible the state is towards its citizens and their health, and the fate of future generations. Creating a sustainable system of mass sport, building a sufficient number of sports facilities, making them accessible, raising the role of physical fitness in education are priorities for many nations, including Russia. Our goal is to involve no less than 40% of our citizens to regular sport activities and healthy lifestyles by the year 2020. I am sure we will achieve it.   

In recent years, Russia has made a breakthrough in this area. We have adopted new programmes to develop children’s and junior sport, a comprehensive system of competitions for all age groups and for all social groups. We are actively creating sport infrastructure, providing it with modern equipment. Some 5,000 new sport facilities are launched each year in Russia.

The International Olympic Committee has appreciated our efforts. Here Mr Rogge mentioned that Russia will play host to such major competitions as the World Championships in Athletics, we recently held the World Figure Skating Championship, we are planning to host the FIFA World Cup, the Ice Hockey World Championship, and finally, the Student Games in Kazan and the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. We will do everything to ensure that these and other sport competitions, which will be entrusted to Russia by the international sport community, are held at the highest organisational level.

Ladies and gentlemen, we know that many of you are visiting Russia for the first time, and we want you to get to know our country well, we want your fruitful work to be complemented with vivid and unforgettable impressions. I have noted what was said today about the election of leaders of the international sport movement in Moscow. Mr Rogge was elected in Moscow. Today Mr Al-Sabah was elected in Moscow. Come to see us more often. Moscow brings luck. Thank you.


Thank you very much. I’d like to invite you all to the international sport forums and major competitions to be held in this country, to the world championships, and especially to the Olympic Games. I think it will be interesting for you, and your athletes, as well as our athletes, will do their best to win. We would like such events like this to be held in Moscow on a regular basis. To this end we would take every measure necessary in terms of organisation. I invite you all to see how the work to prepare Olympic facilities in Sochi is being conducted, if any of you have time for that. I must say that we make full use of the preparations for such major competitions as the Student Games in Kazan or Winter Olympic Games in Sochi  to give a boost to the development of the regions of the Russian Federation where they will be held. For example, preparations for the Student Games in Kazan, in my view, have transformed the look of this ancient town of one of the ethnic republics of the Russian Federation. Dozens of absolutely modern, new facilities have been built: roads, infrastructure facilities, stadiums that many of our citizens had only seen in movies or in photos. Today they are making good use of it all, and future generations will also benefit from it. 

As for Sochi, we will invest heavily there, but more than 80% of the funds will be spent exclusively for the development of this region of the Russian Federation, primarily for infrastructure development. This means the construction of new roads, including a bypass road around Sochi, construction of sewage, water and power supply facilities. We are building two gas pipelines reaching Sochi – one pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea, another one across the mountains. We have built a new power station, are building eight electric power substations, some twenty bridges and about ten tunnels. All these facilities taken together will serve Russian citizens from all regions for decades to come, because Sochi is a major and favourable resort for Russians. It will serve not only the citizens of the Russian Federation. I hope that citizens of many of your countries will be coming to Sochi, to other regions of Russia where the necessary infrastructure will be built.  

Again, we think that the development of the sport movement, the development of the Olympic movement is central – without exaggeration – central to our cooperation on the international arena. There is no better, no more responsive tool for building relations between countries and peoples. And all this is directly related to the tasks being addressed by the people who have gathered today in this auditorium. I sincerely wish you all every success, with all my heart. Thank you very much for your work. Thank you. Goodbye.