Russian First Deputy PM Says $18B In Budget Requests By Regions Considered Unreasonable
Russian First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov said that the 540B rubles ($18B) the regions have asked for preparation for the football World Cup in Russia in '18 "is more than the government considers reasonable," according to Vladimir Goryachev of the MOSCOW TIMES. The federal budget "will pay only for infrastructure directly related to the event"-- arenas, team bases, airports, main roads -- while financing general improvements of city infrastructure and transportation networks in host cities "will be left to regional authorities." Shuvalov said that the regions "have asked for money to make large-scale general improvements from refurbishing sewer systems to building public fountains." The Sports Ministry estimated last autumn that the overall cost of hosting the World Cup in Russia in '18 would range from 662B ($20B) to 1.4T ($43B) rubles (MOSCOW TIMES, 3/18).