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Russia cuts 2018 FIFA World Cup costs by $79 million

Large budget cuts due to falling oil exports have hit the preparations for the World Cup.

The Luzhniki Stadium that is currently under renovation
The Luzhniki Stadium that is currently under renovation

Russia has decided to cut its spending on the 2018 World Cup by 6 billion roubles ($79 million), a state decree posted on a government website showed on Thursday.

Russia has already made cuts in its budget for the tournament as falling prices for its oil exports and Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its role in the Ukraine crisis squeeze the economy and government revenues.

The total costs of the 2018 World Cup have now been cut to 620.9 billion roubles ($8.2 billion) from 626.9 billion roubles, Thursday's decree published on http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/ showed.

Russia won the right to host the tournament in 2010 and developed an ambitious plan for constructing stadiums and hotels. According to Interfax news agency, the original government decree, signed in 2013, set costs at 664 billion roubles but since then the figure has been reduced several times.

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