Christmas lights for Moscow’s Tverskaya Street cost five times more than market price

Christmas lights for Moscow’s Tverskaya Street cost five times more than market price
Festive illumination on Tverskaya Street in 2017

A lawyer at SMP Bank, owned by the Rotenberg brothers, made profit thanks to the city authorities.

Moscow spent almost 7 billion rubles on festive decorations for the New Year. Of this sum, 143 million were allocated for Tverskaya Street and its ‘flutes.’ As reported by Meduza, the purchase price in this case was 5 times higher than the market price. In addition, the decorations had appeared a few days before the contract for them was signed. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin officially opened the Journey to Christmas festival on December 16, 2016, and by that time Tverskaya Street had already been decorated with flutes, while the results of the tender were announced only on December 19 and the contract signed on December 21. At the same time, according to the contract, only 2 days were given for the supply and installation of the lights. Thus, the flutes appeared a week ahead of schedule.

Most of the money under the contract went to the Forum Company led by Olga Keretsman, a lawyer at SMP Bank, owned by billionaires Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.

According to the results of tenders, each of the 64 flutes cost the Moscow budget 2,241,630 rubles.

The documentation stipulates the use of Champs Élysées lights manufactured by the Fernch company Blachere Illumination. The cost of a single FL216W-CE light, according to the manufacturer's price list, is 1750 Euro (including delivery to Russia and bulk discount). Each flute required three of such lights (total cost is 5,250 euros), which are fixed on the bracket (1,200 euros) and decorated with 40 glittering snowflakes (600 euros).

Interestingly, a similar design was used in 2015 near the capital's shopping malls Mega. The cost of decorations, its installation and dismantling amounted to about 100 thousand rubles in 2015, and the annual cost of the installation and dismantling of the whole construction equals about 20 thousand rubles. Assuming that Forum spent the same money for the work, the real price of a single flute should be about 475 thousand rubles (Euro translated into rubles at the Central Bank exchange rate on December 19, when the results of the tender were announced).

Terms and conditions of the tender and its cost were formed on the basis of offers received from companies Adline, Meltion, and Promstroyenergoservis, which have never participated in a competition to design the city.

As for the tender itself, only one application was submitted for the flutes, and that application was from Forum.

Moreover, in the catalog of Blachere Illumination, Meduza also found trees from the ‘fairy-tale forest’ installed on Kuznetsky Most Street. According to the price list, a single tree is worth 10,490 euros (676,404 rubles), including delivery to Russia. Forum won the tender in this case as well, with a price of more than 1.8 million rubles.

Moscow Mayor’s Office spend 5.8 billion rubles on the Christmas illuminations this year, and nearly 6.7 billion — on festive decorations in general. The money came mainly from the annual payment from the federal budget, which Moscow receives for performing the functions of the capital. In 2016, the amount of this compensation reached almost 12 billion rubles.

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