Legislative efforts related to construction of Olympic facilities
The hosting of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi is perhaps the first large-scale project for today’s Russia that should be implemented by extremely tight deadlines and has captured the attention of the whole world. The unique nature of the task predetermined the need for special legislative regulation: it is clear that the application of general legislative rules would mean that the organisational timelines and requirements of the Olympic Games Contract would not be met.
Consequently, a special federal law was adopted in December 2007 (“the Olympic Games Law”), which is similar in concept to the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006.
The Olympic Games Law contains special rules and regulations designed to establish the conditions for the complete and timely construction of Olympic facilities, including the assignment of “state significance” status to said facilities; the introduction of a simplified procedure for withdrawal (compulsory purchase) of lands for state needs for the construction of Olympic facilities; the establishment of deadlines for expert examinations of design documentation pertaining to construction of Olympic facilities. Furthermore, it grants the state corporation Olympstroy significant authority to arrange for construction of Olympic facilities.
Moreover the legislator is reacting promptly to the practical problems that have occurred. In the past year the Olympic Games Law has been amended twice. For example, a mechanism has appeared for establishing a real estate fund consisting of the real estate to be granted in exchange for withdrawn land plots. In addition, it simplifies the procedure for building transportation, communications and utilities lines (roads, power transmission lines, etc.), including through the establishment of easements for construction and operation of Olympic facilities. It should also be mentioned here that the lease rates set by the Russian Government for the land plots allocated for construction of Olympic facilities are fairly low.
Naturally, some challenges remain to be resolved. However, we can clearly see that the Russian legislator is very serious in its approach to the organisation and hosting of the 2014 Olympic Games and is taking the necessary steps to create an appropriate regulatory framework. The challenge now is to ensure effective implementation of the legislation.
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