MOSCOW, October 30 (R-Sport) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that construction for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics conforms to strict ecological demands, after a report emerged claiming the country had reneged on waste disposal promises.
In a statement addressed to participants of the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Sport and the Environment that opened Wednesday in the Black Sea resort, Medvedev said Russia was upholding its vows on protecting the environment.
"I'm confident that our foreign guests will be able to evaluate with their own eyes the scale of the preparations for such a prestigious competition and be convinced that the work is going on in strict adherence to ecological requirements," the prime minister said in the statement, which was posted on the government's website.
It was unclear if Medvedev was responding directly to concerns raised in a story published Tuesday by The Associated Press, which reported that the country had broken a pledge that it would refrain from dumping industrial waste.
The report quoted environmentalists as saying that dumping undertaken by a subcontractor of state monopoly Russian Railways could leave local water supplies contaminated for years to come, but cited government officials as saying the situation was under control.
A summary report on the Olympic Games impact published by organizers in January stated: "Green building standards are supported by Russian Railways."
More broadly, it claimed: "Once the construction phase has been completed, both quality of life and the state of the environment will improve."
A green Games was a central feature of the Sochi concept, and featured heavily in promotion literature before and after the bid process that ended when Russia was awarded the Olympics in 2007.
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will begin on February 7 next year.
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