Russia to drop European suppliers of Luzhniki stadium components

A senior Moscow official has revealed that European suppliers of covers, video screens and other materials will be dropped in favour of Russian or Asian suppliers because of the weak ruble.

Moscow deputy mayor Marat Khusnullin (pictured) said his city’s Luzhniki Stadium, which is undergoing complete reconstruction and is set to host the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony and final match, has seen its project costs inflate by up to 10% already, and costs may rise higher.

A reconstruction contract valued at $612m was awarded in 2013.

"The project includes the active use of imported material, for example, polycarbonate covers, while on the roof there will be a media screen that will broadcast the ceremony," he said.

The ruble has lost 50% of its value against the dollar and the euro since November 2014, forcing the Moscow government to review its development plans for this year.

"Due to the large quantity of imported material we depend greatly on the ruble exchange rate, and it is still difficult to make an accurate forecast of the project’s price increase," he said in 4 February interview with state-owned news website, Russia Beyond the Headlines. 

"I can say that we are changing certain suppliers. Traditionally, we’ve had European suppliers, but now we are looking for others to replace them, including Russian ones. And in areas where it’s not possible, we turn to our Asian partners."

Khusnullin also said completion of the Luzhniki Stadium project would be brought forward from 2017 to 2016 in a race against inflation, which hit 15% in January.

"If inflation is 15%, then for us an extra year of work will cost almost one billion rubles ($14 million)," he said.

For the same reason the city is also now looking to bring Moscow’s metro expansion project forward.

"Due to inflation, we have also decided to reduce the timescale for the construction of the metro," Khusnullin said. "If someone wishes to realise a three-year project in two years, we will happily find additional financing."

Last May Russian authorities engaged two Chinese firms to expand Moscow’s subway as part of the city’s major growth plan.

Photograph: Moscow Deputy Mayor Marat Khusnullin (

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