More than 156 billion rubles has been set aside by the Russian Government for holding the 2018 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

More than 156 billion rubles (£2 billion/$2.4 billion/€2.2 billion) has been set aside by the Russian Government for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, officials have announced.

Svetlana Gashkina, the head of the Finance Ministry Department for Fiscal Policy in the Social Sphere and Science, revealed the figure which forms part of the draft federal budget for the period from 2017 to 2019.

"On the whole, we have 156.4 billion rubles over the three years on the world football championship," she was reported as saying by TASS at a session of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs.

Gashkina added that these resources are planned in the draft budget in full.

Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Sports Minister who was promoted last month to Deputy Prime Minister, is overseeing preparations for the tournament as the head of the Russia 2018 Organising Committee and has asserted that the country will host the World Cup to the highest possible standard.

His claim came after Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA counterpart Gianni Infantino were forced to reassure the public that stadium construction for the 2018 World Cup was on track in June, following reports of delays and rising costs.

Mutko will be replaced by Pavel Kolobkov as Sports Minister.

Russia were awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup in December 2010 ©Getty Images
Russia were awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup in December 2010 ©Getty Images

Russia’s preparations will be put closer under the microscope when they host next year’s Confederations Cup - an eight-team tournament comprised of the host nation, the current World Cup holders plus the six continental champions.

The 32-team FIFA World Cup is then due to take place in 12 stadiums across 11 cities from June 14 to July 15.

Russia won the race to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup in December 2010, beating off competition from England and joint bids from Portugal and Spain and Belgium and The Netherlands.

The way in which the European nation won the rights to the tournament in 2010 remains the subject of a criminal investigation.

The bid process for the 2022 tournament, awarded to Qatar, is also still part of an ongoing probe following allegations of vote buying.