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Russia's prime minister said on Monday the government will spend
Russia's prime minister said on Monday the government will spend 81 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) over the next three years on facilities for the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi.

"The government has adopted a program for the construction of Olympic facilities and Sochi's development," Viktor Zubkov told a meeting of the presidential council responsible for preparations for the games at the Black Sea resort.

"It includes 243 facilities. Around 81 billion rubles will be spent on the program in the next three years."

Zubkov said the six years remaining to prepare for the games is a relatively short period considering the scale of the plans, and urged for final decisions on the facilities' location and additional, private, investment in the Olympic projects.

President Vladimir Putin, who vigorously campaigned to secure the country's victory as an Olympic bidder, and spoke English, French and Spanish at a presentation ceremony to win over IOC members, earlier pledged $12 billion to build the city's facilities for the winter Olympics largely from scratch.

Sochi won the right to host the games during an IOC session in Guatemala in July 2007 after a close race with South Korea's Pyeongchang and Austria's Salzburg.

Environmental groups have warned that large-scale construction work could wreak significant damage in the unique mountainous West Caucasus area, which includes territories on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Critics have also predicted that authorities and organizers will use the opportunity to embezzle government funds.

Apart from sporting venues and hotels, organizers plan to build a mobile communications network, digital broadcasting infrastructure, lay fiber-optic cables, build and modernize four power plants and four cascaded hydroelectric power stations, and to totally rebuild power grids

Transportation services are also to be improved considerably. A light metro is to be built to connect the airport and railroad terminal in Adler to sporting venues. The existing railroad will be reconstructed and two more lines laid, including a high-speed one from Moscow to Adler.

Sochi airport, where a new terminal was built recently, will have a runway extended, and backup airports will be built in nearby cities. New terminals will be constructed in the sea port.

There are also plans to build "Federation" island off Sochi's coast in the shape of Russia. The island is to be filled with hotels and offices.

Russia will be hosting the Winter Olympics for the first time. Moscow hosted the Summer Olympics in 1980, but the event was marred by a U.S.-led boycott involving more than 60 countries.

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