Russia has slapped limits on the price of hotel rooms in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, fearing sharp hikes in the face of a shortage of accommodation in the Black Sea resort.
The government said on its website that the maximum price for a one- or two-star hotel room must not exceed 142 euros ($185), while in the top bracket a cap of 343 euros ($450) will be imposed for a suite at a luxury five-star hotel during the Games.
Russian authorities fear hotel prices could surge given the "huge deficit of rooms" during peak season in Sochi, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who is in charge of organising the preparations for the Games.
"We will double the number of hotel rooms for the Olympics," he said, adding that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had asked him to monitor prices to ensure that the limits were not exceeded.
Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave a thumbs up to organisers for the February 7-23, 2014, Games, despite concerns over the progress of infrastructure work.
Russia last hosted the Olympics as part of the Soviet Union in 1980, and winning the bid for the 2014 Winter Games, backed by sports-mad President Vladimir Putin, has been seen as a massive boost for national pride.
Organisers insist that they are on track to finish all sports facilities in Sochi despite indications that the project is running behind schedule.
A general view of "Iceberg" Skating Palace and "Fisht" Olympic Stadium construction site at the Olympic Park in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on December 9, 2012. Russia has slapped limits on the price of hotel rooms in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, fearing sharp hikes in the face of a shortage of accommodation in the resort.