What will come of Vladimir Putin’s suggestion to tax ‘prestigious consumption’? The Prime Minister’s campaign pledges look set to raise government spending by $161 billion through to 2018. Yandex has signed a deal with Twitter which will grant it access to all publicly posted tweets and make them available to appear in the search engine’s results (Twitter.yandex.ru). This report looks at the role played by U.S. diplomatic offices in increasing U.S.-Russian trade to a current high of $43 billion for 2011. January’s capital outflows are estimated at $11 billion – higher than last year’s monthly average. The Finance Ministry’s plan to collect tax on pre-2013 corporate eurobonds has been scrapped. Yulia Latynina on ‘untouchable’ bankers. VTB Bank is planning to buy out minority shareholders at Bank of Moscow. The bank is on a ‘hiring spree’, an indicator of its ‘global intent’. Russia is attempting to secure buyers for its wheat exports in the Asia-Pacific region. Google has unveiled a Moscow version of its Street View service.