Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for the transfer of a proposed Olympic bobsleigh site over ecological concerns, Russian media reported.
The planned Sochi-2014 Winter Olympics venue, next to a mountain nature preserve above Russia's summer resort city on the Black Sea, was criticised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last month as "environmentally unfriendly".
"I consider it necessary to move these venues to another site, as agreed with the International Olympic Committee," Putin said at a meeting with Russian Olympic officials in Sochi, news agency RIA said.
In a nine-page summary of its April inspection, UNEP said Grushevy Ridge, where the bobsleigh course and competitors' accommodation had been due to be built, is home to endangered flora and fauna.
As the official consultant to the International Olympic Committee for environmental protection up to and through the 2014 Olympic Games, UNEP visited Sochi's proposed venue sites at the invitation of the Russian government.
Russian and international environmental organisations had also been calling for the bobsleigh site to be moved off of Grushevy Ridge, and Greenpeace said it had proposed 16 alternative sites.
Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2008, 14:24