There are currently no concert halls in Kiev capable of hosting participants in the Eurovision competition in 2005, the city's mayor, Alexander Omelchenko, told a press conference Tuesday.
Omelchenko said that such a venue would have to seat 15-20,000, whereas the city's largest arena, the Sports Center, is able to accommodate a mere 8-10,000. He said that the interior of the Sports Center is of the old Soviet type, and does not conform to European standards. 'The time to prepare is short, merely a year, but we will be looking for ways,' he said.
The mayor's announcement comes in the wake of this year's Eurovision contest in Istanbul, which was won by Ukrainian singer Ruslana Lizhichko. According to the rules of the competition, the next contest -the 50th -- has to be held in the winner's home country, in other words Ukraine. Immediately following Lizhichko's victory, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich said he would do all he could to ensure that the next song contest takes place in Kiev on a high level.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea