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Putin urges hurry up in preparations for 2018 World Cup

Russia Soccer WCup Draw

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks as FIFA President Sepp Blatter listens during the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky


MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin has demanded delays in construction of 2018 World Cup projects be quickly overcome.

After chairing a meeting on Russia’s preparations on Tuesday, Putin says there have been “certain difficulties” at various facilities, and he highlighted the Baltic port of Kaliningrad, where “delays there should be fixed as quickly as possible.”

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He emphasized the need to ensure tight security at all World Cup facilities.

Putin ordered regional governors to consider the World Cup preparations as their priority, adding that new or upgraded infrastructure should help make the regions more attractive for tourists and investors for years to come.

He added that football officials should make sure the national team performs well in the World Cup.