BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- China Central Television, together with other five media groups have been given special access to Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask some key questions about how the Sochi Olympics will be staged. The Russian president says his main priority is security... and that the global spectacle can only help to boost Russia’s international image.
"President Putin, there was a terrorist attack just a month before the opening of Sochi Winter Olympics. It’s raised concerns about security during the games. Is Russia going to take tougher security measures? Some people worry that strengthened security may affect competitor’ performances or make it harder for journalists to do their jobs," CCTV reporter Shui Junyi said.
"I don’t want to see those terrorists’ attacks or criminal activities, which aim to disrupt international cooperation and affect the safety of cultural and sports activities. If we show our weakness and fear and let others see it, it will help terrorists to achieve their goals. I believe the international community should make joint efforts in areas like humanity, politics and economics, to fight against terrorism and the killing of innocent people. Our task as organizers is to provide security for participants and guests at the Sochi Olympic Games. We are going to do everything we can to achieve that goal," Vladimir Putin said.
"What kind of image do you think Russia is displaying to the world through the Sochi Winter Olympic Games?" Shui Junyi said.
"I sincerely hope, through the winter Olympics, that the world can get to know more about our country. I’d like people to see a brand new Russia with an open-minded and refreshed view. I’d like them to see the new face of Russia and the new opportunities here," Vladimir Putin said.
"A great deal of money has been put into Sochi to host the Olympic Games, according to the estimate, 50 billion dollars. But we have not had a chance to know the exact amount yet and to understand how much the Olympics cost. Well, how much are they? And are they worth that money? What benefits will these Games bring?” USA reporter Ed Hula said.
"The overall cost of the Olympics has been announced, it is 214 billion rubles. You can calculate the dollar amount dividing this figure by 33 which is a current exchange rate. We started the development of Sochi in 2006 and 2007," Vladimir Putin said.
"Mr. President, there have been the amnesties issued in Russia ahead of the Winter Olympics. Are the amnesties for the Greenpeace prisoners and others were just the "Russian bear putting on a smile"? BBC reporter Andrew Marr said.
"What do you want me to say? We have passed the amnesty plan not because of the Winter Olympics. We did this because it was the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution, "Vladimir Putin said.
"Will you run for the next presidential election?" BBC reporter Andrew Marr said.
“It is still too early to talk about that. Well, we should know it is 2014 this year, the general election will be in 2018. Right now the mission is to work hard, and the rest, we will wait and see,” Vladimir Putin said.