Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to have a hand in financing the construction of the dam and the ring road in Saint Petersburg. This was announced by Presidential Plenipotentiary in the North West Federal District Victor Cherkesov in an interview on the TV programme Weekly News (RTR channel). 'Vladimir Putin has intervened to make sure that credit agreements are reached quickly with international banks and that guarantees are provided by the Russian government which are favourable for Russia,' said Mr Cherkesov. 'Heading the committee for the preparation of Saint Petersburg for its 300th anniversary, the president paid particular attention to the dam and ring road projects. These projects will only be completed after the anniversary but it's very important to improve the city transport system and protect the city's five million residents from a possible disaster.'
Mr Cherkesov also mentioned that if the state budget for these projects were maintained, then it could take another 100 years to complete them. 'In this respect the agreements we have reached with the international banks are a real breakthrough,' he emphasised.
At the meeting between Mr Putin and Mr Cherkesov on January 9 2002, the president promised to allocate USD 600 million to the construction of the dam and the ring road. The government and ministry of transport are expecting to obtain this money from the European Investment Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and also the Northern Bank under a guarantee from the Russian government. Mr Cherkesov will be responsible for how the money is actually spent.