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MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – Saint Petersburg is likely to make a bid to host the Summer Olympics, a senior Russian official said Sunday.
Georgy Poltavchenko, the mayor of Saint Petersburg, made the announcement at a ceremony marking the arrival of the the Olympic torch in Russia's second city. The torch is currently traveling around Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“We are looking at the question of Saint Petersburg making an application to host the Summer Olympics,” Poltavchenko said. “I am sure that in the very near future Saint Petersburg will not be a intermediate stage on the Olympic relay, but will be its final destination.”
Saint Petersburg made a bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics, but was eliminated in an early round of voting. The last Russian city to host the Summer Olympics was Moscow in 1980.
Poltavchenko did not say which Summer Olympic Games Saint Petersburg will bid for, but the next available year is 2024. A decision on the venue for the 2024 Games is not expected to be taken by the International Olympic Committee until 2017.
Brazil will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Japan successfully bid for the 2020 Games.
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.