The model of a new stadium, which is expected to host World Cup matches, is seen on display, in Saransk, Russia.
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Four years ago, Russia's federal government cleaned up its finances by shifting responsibility for a chunk of social spending to regional administrations.Collectively, the regions – which number more than than 80 – ran a budget deficit of 1 trillion roubles ($14.6 billion) last year on spending of 10 trillion, according to the state Audit Chamber.Its debt rose 30 percent last year to 33.7 billion roubles, or 46,000 roubles for every resident – equal to two months' salary for the average worker there, according to Finance Ministry data."The objectives set in the presidential May decrees must be met," Volkov told his parliament in December, according to local agencies.While other regions' problems may not be so deep, more than 90 percent of them were in deficit last year and their debt burden will grow to an average 60 percent of revenues by the end of next year, up from 27 percent in 2014, according to S&P.Moscow does offer cheap loans to the regions but these are not enough to repay their maturing debts, let alone any other spending.The government has assigned 310 billion roubles in very low-interest budget loans to the regions this year, but S&P estimates this covers only 60 percent of refinancing needs.
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