Today in Russian Business – June 1, 2012

Vladimir Ashurkov speaks out about his support of Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund: ‘Our strategy has been to gather a critical mass of supporters who would not be afraid to say, ‘Yes, I have supported this foundation’. But of course this is also a test of what is possible and what’s not possible in Russia. We’ll find out.’  The ruble is at a three-year low thanks to falling oil prices, but Finance Minister Anton Siluanov insists that this corresponds with the central bank’s monetary policy: ‘It’s wrong to talk about instability,’ he said.  ‘Despite its exorbitant prices and eternal traffic jams, Moscow has become a magnet for foreigners seeking jobs.’  Foreigners may be able to work at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, if current amendments are passed.  The Moscow Times interviews Zdenek Turek, the head of Citibank in Russia: ‘Everybody can see banking as half empty: overregulated, oversupervised, short on capital.  I believe it is half full. I believe the banks will finally focus on servicing clients rather than just building a balance sheet and trying to make money through more loans.’  Belarus is to receive the third portion of its $3 billion bailout loan from the Eurasian Economic Community.  United Aircraft Corporation and Chinese Commercial Aircraft Corporation will start a joint venture to develop long-haul aircraft.