Russian businessman Yuri Ilyakhin was a participant of the Olympic torch relay in the city of Lanzhou in north-western China. The Russian is one of the eight foreigners who won the right to be in the relay by participating in the “I am and China” competition. The competition was organised by the newspaper China Daily and the Lenovo Chinese Company, a producer of computers and electronic appliances. Several thousand Internet users from China and Russia voted for Yuri Ilyakhin.
This is pleasant news for the staff of Voice of Russia. Some time ago, Yuri Ilyakhin worked as part-time reporter at the broadcasting company, but, now, he is a successful businessman. He worked at the Soviet news agency TASS in the 80s after graduating from the Institute of Asia and Africa of Moscow State University. He is fluent in the Chinese language, translates poems by Li Bo and other Chinese classical poets, and writes and edits books on traditional Chinese opera. “We are happy to be involved in an Olympic torch relay that unites people. We wish success to the Olympics starting next month”, Yuri said on behalf of the other foreign participants.
Preparations for the Olympic Games are in the final stretch. One of the largest contingents to take part in the Olympics shall be the Russian team, as was stated by Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sports, Tourism, and Youth Policy, at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last week. About 500 Russian sportsmen will take part in 28 sport events. Russia is sincerely happy that Beijing won the right to hold the Olympic Games and believes that they will be staged with the highest standards. The participants and guests of the Beijing Olympics will remember them as a great holiday, a holiday of sport and free communication uniting athletes from many countries.
Russia and other member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will cooperate actively with China in guaranteeing security to the event. This issue was discussed at the recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the regional antiterrorist structure of the SCO in Beijing. A statement released after the meeting says that Beijing Olympic Games are a great event not only for Chinese people, but, also for the people of the SCO member countries. In view of this, the SCO members said they would oppose any attempt to boycott the Olympics. They emphasised that they would not support any action that undermines the 2008 Olympic Games.
9 July 2008
Voice of Russia World Service