Russia 'plans new top ski resorts'

Five world-class ski resorts are set to be built in the troubled North Caucasus of Russia at a cost of 450 billion rubles (£10.1bn), according to an official. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aims to stimulate economic prosperity in the region and bring an end to the insurgent attacks that have become a daily occurrence, said Rostislav Murzagulov, who is a managing partner with consulting firm Agitpro. "The situation in the south of Russia is very favourable, " said Mr Murzagulov when discussing the region, which has a climate that could facilitate year-round skiing. "There are many airports and a good infrastructure. The potential is great." Matlas, Dagestan; Mamison, North Ossetia; Arkhyz, Karachayevo-Cherkessia; Lago-Naki, Adygeya; and on Mount Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria have been earmarked as locations for the ski resorts, which is said to be President Medvedev's brainchild. He is a keen skier and holidayed at the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort in Sochi in January, where Russia will host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Key investors for the public-private partnership are already on board, Mr Murzagulov said, with US, Arabian, Scandinavian and European financial companies ready to give backing, such as Allianz, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

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