Karim Massimov (left), pictured with IOC President Thomas Bach last month, insists the bid will be unaffected by economic problems ©AFP/Getty Images

Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov has hit back at claims his country's economic problems means Almaty would not be capable of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, promising a $75 billion (£49 billion/€67 billion) sovereign wealth fund has been set aside to deal with such projects.

it comes after the continuing fall of global oil prices, current fluctuating around $53 (£34/€48) per barrel, as well as the impact of economic problems in Russia, the Central Asian nation's biggest trading partner.

A Bloomberg poll earlier this month found Kazakhstan one of the world's 10 worst performing economies in 2015, while it also emerged today that the Kazakh Central Bank would be buying a 10 per cent stake in the state oil company, with the money to be paid directly into the sovereign wealth fund, a highly unconventional move suggesting wider concerns.

Massimov, who has made a big impression on voting International Olympic Committee (IOC) members both here and at last month's Candidate City Briefing in Lausanne, however, insisted that the wealth fund means there would be no concerns around covering the proposed wider Games budget of $4.5 billion (£3 billion/€4 billion).

He also claimed they have budgeted for oil prices remaining low.

"We are following the Norwegian-model and are keeping income from the oil out of the budget," he said here.

"It is like cash in the bank.

"We are ready to spend part of this money on the 2022 Winter Olympics."

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev speaking this week in Geneva as the country was accepted as a member of the World Trade Organisation  ©AFP/Getty Images
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev speaking this week in Geneva as the country was accepted as a member of the World Trade Organisation ©AFP/Getty Images

Massimov, the official bid leader of Almaty 2022, was speaking just two days before the a decision is taken by the IOC between the Kazakh former capital and its only remaining rival, Beijing.

He admitted that Government commitment along with experience are still the main concerns being raised to him by voting IOC members.

This is similar to the situation when Kazakhstan received independence 24 years ago, he claimed with a wry smile, when people doubted their ability to govern and finance themselves. 

Massimov claimed the Olympic bid fits into their broader strategy of becoming the third largest economy in the world by 2050, with their rising influence on the world stage having already been emphasised this week by their "historic" acceptance into the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

He also predicted how a successful would help with wider development projects in the country, such as improving the number of flights from Almaty to other parts of the world.

"The Games can place Almaty and Kazakhstan on the world map," he said.

Almaty 2022 vice chairman Andrey Kryukov (left) also spoke alongside three Kazakhstan winter athletes about the bid today ©AFP/Getty Images
Almaty 2022 vice chairman Andrey Kryukov (left) spoke alongside three Kazakhstan athletes, including Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Denis Ten, about their country's bid ©AFP/Getty Images

Speaking on a number of different issues associated with the bid, he described the country's high levels of snow and clear winter sporting heritage as "our advantage", while claiming the country will comply with IOC commitments regarding human rights and freedom of speech.

This follows criticism of both bidders from Human Rights Groups, but Massimov insists the bid will help generate further improvement and that he "will do whatever they can to make it happen".

This comes on a day in which both Almaty and Beijing put athletes at the fore of their respective bids, with the Kazakh delegation here including two figure skaters in Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Denis Ten and Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic participant Karina Uzurova, as well as Paralympic cross country skier Zhanyi Baltabayeva.

One other question surrounding Almaty's bid concerns whether the country's longstanding President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, will attend the presentations and vote on Friday (July 31.)

No country has won a Summer or Winter Olympic race in the last decade without having their leader present during the week leading up to the vote, but the presence of Massimov - who rarely travels with Nazarbayev - suggests he will not be attending.

The Prime Minister, howeer, refused to rule out the possibility of him arriving in time, repeatedly answering that "today is only July 29" and "tomorrow is tomorrow" in response to questions.

Related stories
July 2015:
 Almaty and Beijing bid teams arrive in Kuala Lumpur to begin final countdown to 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics vote
July 2015: IOC told to better regulate human rights issues ahead of 2022 Olympic host city choice
July 2015: Blatter to miss 2022 Winter Olympic vote in Kuala Lumpur
June 2015: Almaty unveil $75 billion sovereign wealth fund in bid to ease financial concerns surrounding 2022 Olympic bid
June 2015: Kazakh Prime Minister and Chinese Vice-Premier lead delegations for Winter Olympic Briefing