Russia will spend hundreds of millions of rubles on restoring the golden dome of the National Capitol Building in Havana, Cuba, in what Russian critics have said is an example of misplaced spending.
Though opened after eight years of restoration work ahead of presidential elections this spring, work continues on restoring the southern part of the Capitol by November 2019, when Havana will celebrate the 500th anniversary of its founding.
Russia’s presidential administrative department has chosen an unnamed company to take on a 642.5 million ruble ($9.6 million) contract to restore the golden dome in Havana, according to Thursday’s placement on the state procurement website.
A second $165,000 tender was also given to an unnamed contractor to oversee the project.
Russian users reacted sarcastically to the plan, with opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s aide Leonid Volkov calling it “brilliant news, simply the best.”
Popular blogger Ilya Varlamov wrote a post on Telegram ridiculing Russia’s decision to spend the money abroad.
“Russia will spend 642 million rubles to restore roads and repair hospitals across the country!” he wrote.
“Whoops, I made a typo, sorry! Russia will spend 642 million rubles to restore the Capitol dome in Havana! That’s more like it!”