Russia won't change winter time for Sochi Olympics

Moscow, Feb 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) hopes that Russia will turn the clock back an hour for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games were dashed Thursday, when Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak ruled it out.

Russia moved to a four-hour winter time difference with Greenwich Mean Time in 2011 under a much-criticised move by then-President Dmitry Medvedev.

The IOC said last month it would "look favourably" upon any plan to restore the old practice of turning the clocks back for the winter. That would allow TV viewers in the West to follow the Games at a more palatable time of day.

But Prime Minister Medvedev called it an "impractical" idea.

"The government finds another time adjustment impractical at the current period," Medvedev said after a cabinet meeting.

"We will live under these conditions and keep the current order for now."

Medvedev claimed the number of supporters and opponents of reverting to daylight saving clock adjustments were roughly the same.

Later, Medvedev's deputy Kozak, who is responsible for overseeing Olympic preparations, said the competition schedules have already been drawn up and the "decision is taken" not to adjust the clocks.

"It's not an easy question. We took our lead from the opinion of the Russian public."

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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