Kim_Yu_Na_doing_routineMarch 24 - Moscow has been chosen to host this year's World Figure SkatingChampionships, replacing Tokyo which was forced to abandon its plans to stage the event following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it was announced today.

Russia was one of several countries who offered to step in and take over the event but the International Skating Union (ISU) has accepted the offer from Moscow.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised that they will pay for the event, which has been scheduled for April 25 until May 1 at the 14,000-capacity Hodynka Arena.

"Today I got a call and an official invitation from [ISU President Ottavio] Cinquanta," said Putin.

"Mr Cinquanta informed me of the good news,.

"I sure that the World Championship will be staged at the highest level possible."

Other countries who had offered to stage the event were Canada, Croatia Finland, Italy and the United States.

"The organisation of this major event with little time to prepare will require a high level effort from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia which has assured the ISU of its full cooperation including in areas such as easy access to entry visas and security," the ISU said in a statement.

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