Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed hope that the 2018 football World Cup will be held at the top level. "We hope that the championship we are preparing will be held at the highest level," Putin said at a meeting with world football's governing body FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Wednesday, reports Efe. He said Russia will use preparation for the 2018 World Cup to improve relations with participant countries. "For us, the holding of the FIFA World Cup also has an internal dimension. We hope to use the preparation for the holding of the World Cup for improvement of relations with countries that take part in that event," Putin said. The Russian president congratulated Infantino on election to the FIFA president’s post. Putin recalled that Russia has a great experience in organising the largest international competitions, and said: "all this will be used now as well." The World Cup matches will take place from June 14 to July 15 at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.