Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin wrote a piece in Kommersant this week, urging Russia to change its economic course as soon as possible. At a gathering of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council, Vladimir Putin promised that Russia would eradicate its budget deficit within three years, and ‘boast[ed]’ that he was expecting investor confidence to increase. The investments of larger companies like Pepsi prove that Russia satisfies the criteria of fiscal stability for some, says the FT. Siemens has announced plans to spend €1 billion on Russian projects over the next three years. Despite a predicted slow in Eastern European development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development anticipates that Russia and the other CIS economies will continue to grow. Sberbank will buy up local insurance company Allianz Life ‘to boost its presence on the retail insurance market’. On the ongoing practice of double taxation for Russian companies carrying out cross-border operations.