Deputy PM Dvorkovich Dismisses Resignation Rumors

MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has denied media speculations about his imminent resignation over problems with Russia’s preparation for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resourt of Sochi.

Dvorkovich responded on Monday to media claims by writing “Of course, not!” in his Facebook blog.

Some media reports have earlier referred to Dvorkovich’s Twitter account, which turned out to be fake, announcing his resignation shortly after President Vladimir Putin criticized former vice-chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee, Akhmed Bilalov, over delays and high cost of construction of the RusSki Gorki Olympic ski jump complex in Sochi.

Bilalov was the head of a company named Krasnaya Polyana that was responsible for the ski jump complex before May 2012, when state bank Sberbank bought a controlling share in the firm.

Bilalov, a former parliamentarian for the ruling United Russia party, was sacked from the post of vice-chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee on Thursday days after the government revealed the Sochi games would cost over $50 billion.

He was also fired as head of a government company managing ski resorts in the North Caucasus.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, rejected claims Saturday that Bilalov was merely a scapegoat for problems at the world’s most expensive Olympics.


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