Ban Ki-moon 'impressed' by Russian preparations for Sochi 2014

Russia’s mission to the UN has celebrated the one-year countdown to the Winter Olympic Games. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the ceremony and praised the efforts of the Russian government in the preparations for the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

“I am quite confident that Sochi Olympics will be a great success for athletes and people all over the world,” Ban told RT after the reception on Thursday. “I am sure that the Russian delegation will work hard to promote peace and development during the Olympic Games.”

He also expressed hope that Sochi Olympics will bring peace to all the people at least for the time of the competitions.

“But if this Olympic truce can continue seven days or 15 days or one month or one year or several years it will be most welcomed,” he said.

Ban Ki-moon told the guests of the ceremony that he was very impressed by the way the Russian government is preparing for the Sochi Olympic Games and emphasized that the event is going to be conducted in a ‘green’, environmentally-friendly way.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that Russian authorities pay a lot of attention to the technological progress as they are preparing for Sochi 2014.

“From the very beginning the idea of the organizational committee was to conduct really innovative Games. Games that will open the way to the future, but at the same time will be based on the great traditions of the Olympic movement,” he said to the guests who included UN diplomats and Russian Olympic Champions.

Also on Thursday, the Olympic clocks in Moscow and seven other cities across Russia began their countdown to the Games. In Moscow a 7.8-tonne clock in the very center of the city, just meters from the Kremlin, began counting the seconds before the Sochi Winter Olympics.