Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has officially stated that the Russian capital is ready to host the 2005 World Figure Skating Championship. On Thursday, Mr. Luzhkov met Ottavio Cinquanta, the president of the International Skating Union, and told him that the Moscow government invited the skating championship to Moscow and would provide all the necessary assistance to its organisers. "Moscow is a city of sports. It has the sporting venues and infrastructure to hold a sporting competition of high international level," Mr. Luzhkov stressed. He said that figure skating is very popular in Russia. The mayor highlighted that the Russians, and Muscovites in particular, are among most devoted and grateful sports fans. Russia's territory has not seen a world skating championship for over 100 years. The only such event was held in Saint Petersburg in 1896.