World Cup 2018 Stadiums Will Have Been Made in Russia

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said in January that Russia's economic crisis meant that World Cup preparations were facing a budget deficit for 2015.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday ordered that five stadiums being built for the 2018 World Cup utilize only Russian materials where possible.

The move comes as Russia seeks to boost local production amid tit-for-tat economic sanctions with the West over Ukraine and a sharp rise in the cost of imports due to ruble devaluation.

The order, posted Monday on the government's website, applies to football stadiums under construction in the regional cities of Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov-on-Don. Each of the stadiums is meant to seat 45,000 and has a minimum federal budget of 10 billion rubles ($189 million).

According to an explanatory document accompanying the order, the ruling seeks the "replacement of equipment and materials of foreign production with Russian analogues."  

The cost of imports has skyrocketed due to the weakness of the ruble, which has lost one-third of its value against the U.S. dollar since last summer due to falling oil prices and sanctions over Moscow's backing of separatists in Ukraine.

It was not immediately clear which stadium components could be swapped for domestic products and how much money the measure would save.

Mordovian Minister Alexei Merkushkin, who is responsible for construction of Saransk's stadium, said foreign lighting fixtures, cables and electronics could all be replaced with Russian-made equivalents, news agency R-Sport reported Monday.  

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said in January that Russia's economic crisis meant that World Cup preparations were facing a budget deficit for 2015, Reuters reported. Stadium construction for the event was estimated last March at 172.6 billion rubles ($3.2 billion).

A total of 12 stadiums will be built or reconstructed for the 2018 World Cup, with two stadiums in Moscow and the rest spread across Russia's regions.

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