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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IOC Urges Steady Pace in Sochi

SOCHI, Krasnodar Region — A senior International Olympic Committee official said Thursday that any delays could threaten Russia's ambitious plans for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin assured the IOC that construction and financing are on schedule.

Jean-Claude Killy, the French Olympic ski great who heads the IOC panel overseeing the Sochi Olympic Games, urged organizers to continue work at a steady pace.

"Time is not a luxury that we have to play with on this project," Killy said as he wrapped up the second major visit by the IOC coordination panel since Sochi was awarded the games in July 2007.

"The Sochi team must therefore ensure that it makes its decisions in a timely manner, so as to maintain its ambitious schedule," he told a news conference.

Putin, dining later with the visitors, assured them that all is well.

"We have said more than once that no matter what the difficulties, the necessary resources would be issued in full and on time — and this is what is happening," Putin said.

Russia's Olympic plans have faced opposition from environmentalists and Sochi residents who will be evicted from their homes. Critics also have said the Olympics will leave the balmy resort city with unneeded ice venues.

Putin unexpectedly acknowledged that criticism, saying that "five ice arenas on the Black Sea shore is an excessive amount." He suggested dismantling three of them after the games and moving them to other cities.