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Confusion over fate of Europe’s tallest building

Billionare developer Shalva Chigirinsky said the crisis had forced him to freeze work on an array of projects, including the Russia Tower, which is to be 612 metres high when completed.

It is just the latest of a string of developments in Russia that are being shelved because of the economic downturn. There was some confusion, however, about whether the project has just been stopped or whether it will ever be built

'The project is frozen. We cannot realise such projects in the current economic conditions. Interest rates are high and there are no resources available for credit,' said Chigirinsky, the chief of the developers Russian Land.

His comments suggested that the building will be built at a future date when the economic crises eases. But in the UK there were suggestions that it will now never be built.

'We have heard that even although work has begun the project is not going ahead. This is because it was meant to be the feature of a much bigger development and there is simply not enough money for the whole development and it would end up being a skyscraper in the middle of a building site. The whole thing has been scrapped,' said a London based architect who know those involved.

The skyscraper, designed by internationally renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster, was expected to be the tallest Europe and the second tallest building in the world, according to Russian Land. Lord Foster's office said they had not been told that is has been scrapped.

Its innovative pyramid design was to have been an unmissable addition to the Moscow skyline and it was planned to include apartments, offices and a hotel.

Chigirinsky confirmed his company is also shelving another flagship project – the Kristall building in the Siberian region of Khanty Mansiisk.