Sochi Olympic route to remain unchanged: Russia

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Moscow, Apr 22 (UNI) Heavy construction for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will not be relocated despite protests from environmental groups, Russian Natural Resource ministry has said.

The issue would be resolved without relocating facilities, Natural Resource minister Yury Trutnev said.

Environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, have said the planned bobsleigh road with related infrastructure in the Caucasus State Natural Reserve is one of the most damaging Olympic projects, along with a mountain Olympic village and a rail line in the region, classified by UNESCO as the only mountainous area in Europe that remains virtually undamaged by humans.

UNESCO representatives and officials from the Russian Natural Resources Ministry began a five-day visit to Sochi last Sunday to assess the potential environmental impact of constructing Olympic facilities.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the organising committee for the 2014 Games, announced yesterday that a Sochi 2014 unified information center will be opened on April 23.

UNI XC SYU AS1722

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