Russia is planning to spend about $10 billion on the preparation for the World Cup in 2018, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a news conference in Zurich.
Putin arrived at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Thursday shortly after Russia had won the bid to host the major event in the soccer world for the first time in history after a tight race against England, Portugal and Spain (jointly), and Belgium and the Netherlands (jointly).
"According to our estimates, construction of stadiums and surrounding infrastructure will cost us about 300 billion rubles or $10 bln, which is comparable with expenditures on the preparation of the World Cup in South Africa," Putin said.
The Russian prime minister said FIFA had made the right choice because Russia is stable politically, has a healthy economy and a favorable social situation, unlike many European countries, which were affected by the recent economic crisis.
Putin also said that many projects related to the preparation for the World Cup would be implemented with the participation of large state-run companies and private sector.
He even urged Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who owns the Chelsea football club, to contribute to the preparation.
"We are planning to use the help of business circles to minimize state expenses on hosting the World Cup and I do not rule out the possibility that Mr. Abramovich could contribute to one of the projects," Putin said.
Russia secured 22 votes in two rounds of voting by members of the FIFA Executive Committee on Thursday. Spain and Portugal came in second place with 14 votes, followed by the Netherlands and Belgium and then England.
Putin announced on Wednesday that he would not join the Russian delegation for the announcement ceremony as he did not want to put pressure on the FIFA executives making the decision. However, he promised to hold a news conference and talks with FIFA officials in Zurich if Russia won the bid. RIA Novosti