Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the Sochi Olympics will offer a chance to the world to see a new Russia.
“I would like the participants, fans, journalists and all those who watch the Games on TV and follow them through the media to see a new Russia, see its face and its possibilities, and take a fresh and unbiased look at the country,” Xinhua quoted Putin as saying in a daily.
The Winter Games will bring about “positive results and it will help Russia to build up relations with its partners around the world”, Putin said.
Denying that hosting the major sports event successfully had anything to do with his personal ambitions, he said it was actually in the interest of the nation and its people. “It certainly gives me great pleasure to see us do this work, but again, not because of any ambitions.”
He said the Olympics would give Russia a chance to regain its lost pride following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the bloody military actions in Caucasus in the past few years.
Russia will prove to the world that its people can unite together, deliver large-scale projects on time with high-standards, including not only stronger defense potential but also progress in the humanitarian sphere, he said.
“I believe that all this is a step in the right direction, as it strengthens the nation’s morale, as well as its social and healthcare sectors, and creates preconditions for future development,” the president said.