Moscow Misspent $7.7 Billion of Transport Funds, Audit Finds

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Photographer Dmitry Kostyuov/AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s Audit Chamber said authorities misspent more than 232 billion rubles ($7.7 billion) earmarked for the development of the Moscow transportation infrastructure in the past three years.

“Nearly half” of 500 billion rubles allocated for the city’s transport system in 2008 to 2010 have been spent with violations, Sergei Ryabukhin, an auditor with the budget watchdog, told reporters in Moscow today.

The largest violations involved 120 billion rubles of state purchases and 85 billion rubles of budget investments, according to materials distributed to reporters.

Moscow drivers suffer the longest traffic jams of the world’s 20 major cities, and the average motorist spent 2 1/2 hours stuck in traffic at least once in the last three years, International Business Machines Corp. said in a study in July.

Moscow’s newly appointed Mayor Sergei Sobyanin last month presented a five-year plan to solve the world’s worst traffic, including restrictions on long-haul trucks entering Moscow from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. The city government will spend 200 billion rubles a year on transportation infrastructure starting in 2011, expanding the road and subway systems and adding parking spaces, Sobyanin said Dec. 15.

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