Ukraine speeds up Euro 2012 construction

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KIEV - Ukraine, under a two-month deadline from UEFA, will accelerate construction of key sport and infrastructure projects needed for co-hosting Euro 2012, a top Ukrainian official said on Monday.

UEFA president Michel Platini last week gave the Ukrainian government until June 2 to show signs it could catch up on preparations for the tournament.

"The stadiums in Lviv and Kiev and two airport terminals are the ones which we need to focus on right now," Borys Kolesnikov, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for Euro 2012, told reporters.

The Euro tournament is due to take place in four Ukrainian towns - the capital Kiev, Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv.

But economic troubles, a severe winter and political tension have led to long delays in preparations by the ex-Soviet republic ahead of the 16-nation tournament which it is co-hosting with neighbouring Poland.

"The most serious delay is at the Lviv stadium. The UEFA put the stadium in the 'black' risk category, not even in the 'red' one. But I want to say that everything will be ready close to the set times," Kolesnikov said.

Ukraine, within the next two months, has to complete the foundation levels of planned airport terminals in Lviv and Donetsk, finish the eastern wing of the Lviv stadium and concrete structures in the Kiev stadium's western wing.

Kolesnikov said the government had issued 550 million hryvnias ($69 million) for Euro 2012 needs during the past 20 days and wanted to issue a total of 26 billion hryvnias ($3.3 billion) from the 2010 state budget to help modernise stadiums, develop airport infrastructure and build roads.

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