Putin Relaxes Russian Visa Requirements


President Vladimir Putin is waiving visa requirements for foreign athletes, coaches and other staff entering Russia for international sports events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti)
“Participants in international sporting competitions … can enter and exit the Russian Federation without applying for visas on the basis of existing documents that confirm their identity and are accepted by the Russian Federation,” a statement from the Kremlin said Monday.
According to a RIA Novosti report, Putin’s decree takes effect immediately and will also apply for such events as the 2013 Summer Universiade, 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as well as the 2016 IIHF World Championships in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Athletes and their entourages will be required to carry official accreditation from the organizers of their competitions.
It’s unclear yet how long they will be allowed to stay in Russia after their events end.

Report Reflects Upon Busy Year for Russia 2018

Russia 2018 reflects upon a year well spent in its “2012 Annual Report” published Monday.
Russia 2018’s “2012 Annual Report” (LOC)
Chief among the Local Organizing Committee’s accomplishments over the past 12 months, according to the report, was the selection of stadia – and subsequent approval from FIFA – for the opening match, semifinals and final of the 2018 World Cup as well as the host cities for the 2017 Confederations Cup.
On the marketing front, CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was revealed as Russia 2018’s first official ambassador, and the host cities unveiled their tournament posters.
“Now we are focusing on the launch of a number of important strategic projects,” LOC CEO Alexey Sorokin says, citing such tasks as “drawing up the Infrastructure Program in cooperation with some of our key stakeholders; monitoring the design and construction of the tournament stadiums, which will be the responsibility of Arena-2018, a special agency we set up by the LOC last year; and finalizing the 2018 FIFA World Cup Bill” to be ratified by year’s end.
Sorokin adds: “I’m sure that this solid foundation work in 2012, along with reviewing best practice from other global sports events, will help us to deliver an outstanding tournament for the world to enjoy in 2018.”
Click here to read the complete 76-page report.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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