Russia will complete the construction of a new naval base at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk by 2020 with a price tag of 92 billion rubles ($3 billion), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"Under a special federal program through 2020, 92 billion rubles will be allocated for the construction of the base," he said, adding that 13.5 billion rubles had been disbursed to date.
Nikolai Abroskin, head of the SpetsStroi company that is building the base, said construction was launched in 2005 and would proceed in three stages.
He said the first stage would be completed this year, the second in 2016 and the third in 2020.
He said three berths and other coastal facilities with a total area of 8 hectares had been built, worth a total of 26.9 billion rubles.
Abroskin added that the deepwater part of the work would be completed in 2011.
In 2003, then-President Putin signed a decree ordering the establishment of a naval base for the Black Sea Fleet in Novorossiisk. Russia initially allocated 12.3 billion rubles ($480 million) for the project.
On May 1, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev instructed the Russian Defense Minister to prepare a plan within the next month for the development of the Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Ukraine's Sevastopol.
Russia's lease of the base in Sevastopol was extended for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017 in a deal simultaneously ratified by the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments in April. The lease may be further extended by five years.
NOVOROSSIISK, May 7 (RIA Novosti)