Russia to be top sports power by 2018: Sports Minister

Moscow: The glut of sporting events to come to Russia over the next six years will turn the country into the undisputed "leader of world sport," Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said.

Next year`s Summer Universiade in Kazan kicks off a tremendous series of top-class action in Russia, including the 2013 world athletics championships, the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2016 world hockey championships and the 2018 football World Cup.

"Russia is set to become the absolute leader of the world sport from 2013 through 2018," Mutko said.

"The close attention of the whole international sports community will be fixed upon Russia. Thanks to these potent projects, new jobs will appear, new infrastructure will be created and the investment appeal of the regions will increase."

Mutko said he was satisfied with the results of the Sports Ministry this year that saw Russia finishing fourth in the medal count at the London Olympics behind the United States, China and Great Britain.

"In general, the department carried out work on a high level," Mutko said. "We`ve become more unified, started to understand each other better. We are united in the aims and tasks."

Russia will at least share the limelight until 2016 with Brazil, the host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.