- © RIA Novosti. Sergei Guneev
© RIA Novosti. Sergei Guneev
MOSCOW, June 19 (R-Sport) - Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska is calling on the government to help him make a return on the $1.4 billion he is plowing into the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
Deripaska is one of a clutch of oligarchs called upon to pay for Russia's first Winter Games in a gargantuan, and world record, $51 billion construction project.
The 45-year-old, worth an estimated $8.5 billion, is responsible for upgrading the Black Sea resort's airport and seaport, as well as building the Olympic village through his Basic Element holding company.
"Such a large-scale project as the Olympics should serve as an example for the development of private-public investment partnerships, and a powerful stimulus for its further growth," Deripaska told R-Sport's sister agency Prime.
But the current climate is only serving to discourage private business from engaging in government projects, Deripaska said.
"At the moment, the opposite is happening. ... I see no reason not to participate in such grandiose projects in the future, but let's not forget that we, as investors fulfilling our promises, expect a return on our investments," he said.
Deripaska and the other chief private source of Sochi financing, banking tycoon Vladimir Potanin, have called for significant tax breaks on Sochi Olympic investment to speed along any returns they might make – or mitigate any losses if their white elephant fears materialize.
Potanin's Interros holding has built the Roza Khutor Alpine skiing base in the mountains that will be used for Olympic competition.
With less than a year to go until the February 7 opening ceremony, most of the facilities for the Games are already complete; though workers are in a race to finish the surrounding infrastructure on time.