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    Russia's Skolkovo may cost $2 billion in next 3 years - Vekselberg

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    Construction costs for Russia's Skolkovo research hub may reach 60 billion rubles ($2 billion), including private investors' funds, in the next three years, the head of the project said on Thursday.

    Construction costs for Russia's Skolkovo research hub may reach 60 billion rubles ($2 billion), including private investors' funds, in the next three years, the head of the project said on Thursday.

    "I'm not ready to voice the exact figures, but I think we'll need about 50-60 billion rubles for the project in the next three years," tycoon Viktor Vekselberg said.

    He added that aside from state funds, Skolkovo would also attract private investment and that here was a chance the proportion of state and private investment could be "fifty-fifty" in the next five years.

    The high-tech center in the Moscow Region's Skolkovo is the Kremlin's pet project as it seeks to steer foreign investors away from oil and gas toward new technology.

    "We are planning to build a prototype of the city of the future," Vekselberg said.

    He also said the Russian government was looking forward to building as many 'Skolkovos' as possible.

    Vekselberg also said he had taken on the project as it was a "serious challenge".

    Earlier on Thursday the first deputy head of the presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov, who also heads the Skolkovo project working group, said that the Russian research hub should seek to encourage foreign specialists to work in Russia.

    "We must engender the habit that working in Russia is normal," Surkov said, adding that Skolkovo needs "the import of brains and specialists".

    MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) 

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