25 december 2009

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin inspected Sochi’s cargo port, which was hit by a storm on the night of December 13-14

While inspecting the cargo port, Vladimir Putin said it should be completed in time for the Olympics despite the effects of the recent storm.

Alexander Davydenko, head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (FMRA), said that the damage done by the storm stands at about 500 million roubles. The port under construction is insured by Ingosstrakh.

Mr Putin mentioned two main problems the builders face: funding and deadlines.

The port is being built on the basis of public-private partnership, with the state represented by the FMRA and Rosmorport, and business by Basic Element. The owners assured Mr Putin that the storm damage would not delay the port's construction. They and the construction managers reaffirmed that the port would be commissioned on time, by next November.

Mr Putin asked Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak whether the damage done to the port could delay the construction of Olympic facilities because the port handles a great deal of related cargo. Mr Kozak said it needs to be established whether railways should be used instead of the cargo port. Transportation Minister Igor Levitin said that some changes will probably be made. "Let's agree not to move anything but do everything as we planned," Mr Putin said.