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Prime Minister Putin pays visit to Olympiyski Arena

Posted 9 May 2009 at 12:33

Shortly before the Prime Minister's arrival, staff was informed about the upcoming visit. Security measures were high prior and during his short visit to the arena.
Putin was taken on a guided tour through the venue by Konstantin Ernst, General Director of Channel One Russia. Upon arrival, they visited the Press Working Area and the Press Conference Area, to proceed to the arena to see the stage. Dozens of journalists followed the Prime Minister to get a glimpse of one of the world's most known politicians.
AySel and Arash, the Azerbaijani contestants, were surprised by the unexpected appearance of the host country's Prime Minister during their rehearsal. Putin went on stage to greet the contestants, who were visibly honoured. Those who wondered if Putin's visit was deliberately planned during the Azerbaijani rehearsal might end up being disappointed; due to today's Victory Day celebrations, the Prime Minister has a busy schedule. Nevertheless, there was sufficient time this afternoon to have a look at the preparations for Europe's favourite TV-show. Earlier, Putin welcomed Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of the UK entry It's My Time, to Moscow, and promised him to vote for the song.
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Svante Stockselius, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union, also met with the Prime Minister: "He was very much interested in the technical details, and wanted to know if there were any challenges or problems," Stockselius told Eurovision.tv.
The delegation continued the venue tour to the backstage area. The Prime Minister's visit lasted approximately 30 minutes, after which rehearsals and press conferences proceeded as planned.
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