MOSCOW, July 24 (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said
on Tuesday its plans to showcase its preparations for the 2014
Sochi Winter Olympics in London were being jeopardised by delays
in Britain issuing visas to the volunteers.
The Sochi organising committee members is opening a
"Russia.Sochi.Park" hospitality house for the London Games, with
a roll-call of figure skaters and cultural performances in
The Black Sea resort is the first Russian city to have been
awarded the Winter Olympics and plans to send 120 specialists to
the London Games to gain experience along with 100 volunteers.
But if the volunteers' visas are not issued on time, the
ministry said the event, due to operate from Thursday to the day
of the closing ceremony on Aug. 12, would flop.
"The current situation is obviously of concern to us, as it
virtually means the realisation of the Russian project falls
through," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a
British representatives say bureaucratic formalities are the
reason for the delay, although Lukashevich said all the
applications were submitted on time.
(Reporting by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya; Editing by Alison