KHARKIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's president Victor Yanukovych was the guest of honour as a vital new airport terminal was officially opened in Kharkiv, in preparation for hosting games at UEFA EURO 2012.
Ukraine's president Victor Yanukovych was among the honoured guests at the opening ceremony for Kharkiv airport's new terminal, a major milestone in the city's preparations for UEFA EURO 2012.
Deputy prime minister Borys Kolesnikov, UEFA EURO 2012 director Martin Kallen and Ukrainian tournament director Markiian Lubkivskyi joined Yanukovych along with a host of local dignitaries and aviation industry representatives at the ribbon-cutting event.
Acknowledging the role of FC Metalist Kharkiv owner Olexandr Yaroslavskiy in financing the building work, Yanukovych said: "The opening of a new terminal in Kharkiv opens a new air route into eastern Ukraine. It is a great example of government and private industry working together."
Guests were invited to take a tour of the new terminal on Saturday, while in the evening the citizens of Kharkiv helped celebrate this latest achievement with an open-air pop concert in the city.
The new terminal is set to be complemented by a temporary terminal, due to open in April 2012, to deal with the exceptional surge in traffic caused by football fans coming for the finals, to be staged in Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012.
Yanukovych views the opening of the new terminal as another positive step in Ukraine's bid to host the finals, saying: "We have practically caught up with our UEFA EURO 2012 preparation schedule but we still have a lot of work to do."