France to invest in construction of resorts in North Caucasus

NORTH CAUCASUS, RUSSIA France will help build US$2.84 billion worth of resorts in North Caucasus region, making an undisclosed investment into Russia’s effort to make the region into a tourist destination.

France President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russa President Dmitry Medvedev announced the agreement Thursday, and it is expected to be formalized next month. “The presidents have decided to include the project of creating a tourist cluster in the North Caucasus among the priorities of the strategic partnership between the two countries,” they announce in a joint statement.

France will help develop and manage ski resorts in the Adygeya, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia and Dagestan republics. Several France-based companies will be involved in building health resorts on the Black and Caspian seas.

“France possesses unique and versatile experience and knowledge in the sphere of comprehensive development of mountainous regions and the implementation of major projects in the sphere of tourism,” the statement says. “France is ready to fully present this experience to the Russian side.”