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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kozak Cuts 5% From Sochi Olympic Costs

The government will slash another 5 percent from construction and infrastructure costs for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Wednesday.

“While previous assessments provided for 206 billion rubles ($6.6 billion), as a result of optimizing costs we now have 195.3 billion rubles,” said Kozak, who is overseeing the preparations, told reporters.

He said the cuts included finding cheaper solutions without sacrificing the project. Falling construction and labor costs, which comprise the bulk of overall expenditures, have made officials optimistic about chances to cut actual costs.

“As far as concerns about building delays go, there’s no reason for such concerns today. Although, of course, that doesn’t mean everything is going without a hitch,” he said.

All of the sites must be finished three months before test competitions are scheduled, he said, warning that finishing ahead of schedule was also not acceptable.

“It’s harmful, wasteful, and what’s more constructing a lot of things at once will create additional inconveniences for Sochi residents,” he said.

The state initially pledged to invest $12 billion — 318 billion rubles at the time.  

In March, Kozak put the budget at 218 billion rubles, which apparently was reduced at least once more before Wednesday’s announcement. He said Wednesday that 102 billion rubles of the costs would be covered by the state and private investors would pay the remaining 93 billion rubles.

(Reuters, MT)