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Foreign Staff for Sochi Olympics

The Sochi Organizing Committee will be able to hire foreigners thanks to a planned amendment to employment law. Above, miniature models of Sochi Olympics facilities.

Foreigners would be able to work at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics under a special amendment to employment law currently being considered in the State Duma.

Amendments currently wending their way through the State Duma add the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee to a list of organizations that have the right to recruit foreign nationals, RIA-Novosti reported.

Under Russian law, businesses are entitled to hire skilled foreign professionals, but only a limited number of noncommercial organizations — specifically those considered to be involved in science, education or health — are able to.

The amendments to the laws regulating the Olympic project and the status of foreigners in the country will create a special exception for the Sochi Organizing Committee. The perk, if any foreigners take advantage of it, will not be permanent, however. The committee is set to be disbanded within three years of the games, which begin next year.

It is not clear which professionals the committee is so keen to attract from overseas.

The committee said Thursday that the first class of service staff had graduated from a special course introduced to raise standards during the Olympics.

Sochi was named by Forbes magazine this week as the best Russian city to do business in, largely thanks to the wide availability of financing.

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