Czech consular office to be at Sochi Olympics


21.01.2014 13:09

Prague - The Foreign Ministry will set up a provisional consular office in Sochi to help Czechs running into trouble during the forthcoming winter Olympics, the ministry told journalists today.


Olympijské kruhy v Soči. ČTK/AP Ignat Kozlov

Perhaps 2,000 Czechs are expected to come to Sochi. They have bought 7,000-8,000 tickets for the sports events, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry recommended to the visitors that they respect organisers' and police instructions and do not argue with security forces.

They should observe security rules, which means paying an increased attention to their things, not carrying much cash with them and not photographing strategic and military sites.

"As big checks are expected, a number of people including Czech tourists may be detained to provide explanation," Jana Reinisova, director of the legal and consular section of the ministry, told journalists.

"In such a case, it is advisable to keep quiet, to obey the instructions of security forces and to contact our embassy," she added.

The ministry does not consider the area in which the winter Olympic games are held a most stable region.

Despite this, it does not plan to change security recommendations for Czech tourists.

"At the moment, we have information that we should change security recommendations," Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and Consular Affairs Karel Boruvka said, adding that the ministry was in a regular contact with organisers of the games with whom it discussed the security issues.

The special consular office will be able to issue provisional passports, inform the relatives about incidents, accidents and detention, and help repatriate the ill, injured and dead persons.

The embassy in Moscow can also provide help in these affairs.

So far, almost 1,000 Czechs have bought organised trips to the Olympics. They will reach the destination by four charter flights. Despite a big interest, there are still places on board the planes heading for Sochi, air ticket sellers say.

"The interest is big, but not like in the previous London Olympics," a representative of a travel agency said.

Czechs are mostly interested in ice hockey, biathlon and speed skating.

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