May 26, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) The Russian government has cut its budget for the 2018 World Cup by more than $70 million.

When Russia won the bid to host the event, its economy was booming. But under the pressure of Western sanctions and low oil prices, the economy has suffered over the past year and concerns are high about the financial burden of the World Cup.

The government website says the budget will be cut by 3.6 billion rubles ($71 million) to 660.5 billion rubles ($13.2 billion). The savings is to come from lowering expenditures of electrical-infrastructure improvements connected with the competition.

Last week, Russian authorities said they wanted to use prisoner labor to help prepare for the World Cup.

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