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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Says Sochi Sites Must Move

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered that three sites for planned Olympic venues be moved because of environmental concerns and reprimanded the Sochi games preparations chief for weak assurances that construction would be finished on time.

"In determining our priorities -- money or the environment -- we chose the environment," Putin said at a meeting with International Olympic Committee officials in Sochi on Thursday.

The decision came after a United Nations environmental report last month labeled parts of the development "environmentally unfriendly." The sites are a bobsled track, competitors' accommodation and a water-extraction plant.

Putin said 218 sites would be built for the Olympics -- four of which are already under construction. Sochi's transport network will also be overhauled.

Earlier in the day, Putin issued the order to shift the venues at a meeting with Viktor Kolodyazhny, head of state corporation Olimpstroi.

Putin appeared dissatisfied with assurances from Kolodyazhny, a former Sochi mayor who took over at Olimpstroi in April, that the corporation would "try" to avoid delays.

"We will try -- that is not an answer, that is a process," Putin said. "Movement is everything, the final goal is nothing. That is Trotskyism."

He then demanded "a direct, clear and understandable answer," prompting Kolodyazhny to promise the moves would not cause any delays.