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Avtodor Seeks More National Welfare Fund Financing

State road builder Avtodor, also known as Russian Highways, which has already received 150 billion rubles ($4.6 billion) in state subsidies from the National Welfare Fund for the construction of the Central Ring Road in the Moscow region, is seeking to get more money from the fund to execute other projects.

The Transportation Ministry will "try to consider" requests for co-financing using welfare fund resources for three major projects — building the bypass around Balashikha and Noginsk, and reconstruction of highways M3 Ukraine and M1 Belarus, said Deputy Transportation Minister Oleg Belozerov on Monday at Russia's Transportation forum, Vedomosti reported.

According to Belozerov's assessment, the three projects will require up to 80 billion rubles of investments. Regulations limit the share of the National Welfare Fund's financing of infrastructure projects to 40 percent of the project's cost.

All three projects are in Avtodor's long-term operational plan, but the company has a shortage of money and financing may be further delayed in the future, a source close to Avtodor said. Co-investing by the National Welfare Fund could help launch those projects sooner, the source said.

The National Welfare Fund had 2.9 trillion rubles as of Dec. 1.

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