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Russia To Review Sochi Olympic Spending

Olympic posters in Sochi
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia plans to review spending on the 2014 Winter Olympics due to the global economic downturn, the deputy prime minister who is in charge of preparations for the Games said on November 21.

"Not one of the venues from the program is being taken out, but we have set a target of saving some money," Dmitry Kozak told reporters in Moscow.

He did not say how much Russia wanted to save but said that the government expected the economic downturn would in any case push down prices for construction materials.

Russia has pledged to spend $12 billion on developing the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the Games, of which $7 billion will be public funding and the rest from private sources.

Much of the infrastructure for the Olympics will have to be built from scratch.

"I want to say completely honestly to you, and for me this was an unexpected surprise, I spoke to all of the investors -- there are of course difficulties with getting loans but none of the investors are pulling out," Kozak said. "They have all confirmed that they are ready to carry out their commitments."

In a long-shot bid to derail the Sochi games, Georgian lawmakers and Olympics officials have urged the International Olympic Committee to consider a change of venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, citing security concerns for athletes. Tbilisi's appeals for an Olympics rethink came after Russia and Georgia engaged in a brief military conflict over breakaway regions of Georgia.