LVIV, Ukraine: Ukraine, which in less than two months will co-host the 2012 European football championships, also wants to hold the Winter Olympic Games in 2022, President Viktor Yanukovych announced Thursday.
Yanukovych told reporters that feasibility studies are being conducted in the west of the country by an Austrian company "with great experience of Winter Olympics projects".
Ukraine's west is home to the Carpathian Mountains which reach up to 2,000 metres (6,500 feet) and already has a handful of Alpine skiing resorts, although infrastructure is still quite limited.
"This company will deliver the feasibility study at the end of the second quarter and we will be able to understand how much work we need to do (to officially launch Ukraine's candidacy)," he added.
Ukraine's ambitious plan comes despite a troubled preparation for its hosting of Euro 2012 which was repeatedly criticised for being behind schedule.
"We understand that the success of Euro 2012 will be of great importance for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when it makes its decision," said Yanukovych.
Yanukovych was speaking in western Ukraine's largest city of Lviv where he opened a new airport terminal in time for European championships which start in June.
Ukraine's best known winter sports resort is Bukovel outside the city of Ivano-Frankivsk which was built up by private investors and now boasts 50 kilometres of ski pistes. (AFP)