Interview with Daniel Klein
Russia Today: Russian businesses, are they willing to invest in Sochi?
Daniel Klein: Absolutely, they are investing in Sochi, they have been investing in Sochi. One of the Russia’s richest oligarchs Oleg Deripaska has been investing actively in the region and I think they will continue to invest.
RT: They may need foreign money as well. What about foreign businesses?
D.K.: Well, we know that foreign businesses have been investing in Sochi. They have been investing in Krasnodar region for several years and we have clients and I also have colleagues that I know that are actively investing in the region and will continue for it actually.
RT: Russia is creating special zones for gambling and Krasnodar region is going to be one of those zones. Do you think that is going to affect investment into the region?
D.K.: Absolutely. I think that all the investments in the casinos and also to the Olympic village; I think that one will support the other. People that are going to casinos in the winters may use these facilities after 2014 and vice versa.
RT: Is there any way that the casino thing may distract from the Olympics Games?
D.K.: I do not really think so, I do not believe that would be the case.
RT: Montreal hosted the Summer Olympics in 1976 and ended up massively in debt? Is there any way that this may happen to Sochi?
D.K.: I do not really think that will be the case. I mean, if you think about Sochi, a lot of people do not know where it is and very few people associate Sochi with winter sports. But in fact mountains nearby are over 3,000 metres high and I think that is a fantastic environment for skiing, snowboarding etc. And it is 25 kilometres from the sea which is really unusual and a reason that Sochi was chosen for the Olympics because of this unique combination.
RT: Did you think Sochi was going to win?
D.K.: I was shocked! I really was surprised. To be quite honest with you Russia has invested heavily over the last year or so trying to promote Sochi on television and so forth, they have invested a lot of money into infrastructure down there, new airport and so forth. And I really all the power to them and I think that one must really congratulate President Putin on his efforts, especially in Guatemala, he was a real statesman, pulled off a Clinton-like appearance in Sochi and he did a great job and deserves to win, that is my opinion.