Chinese activity in Russian business, in terms of building and owning assets, has seen a marked increase even just this month since Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit, but non-government-backed projects are also on the rise. The Finance Ministry is trying close a legal loophole that allows firms to avoid income tax by selling goods to offshore subsidiaries at below-market prices. Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says that the 2012 budget will only avoid a deficit if oil stays above $117 per barrel. Your average Russian bribe this year is worth about $8,000. United Grain Co is estimating that grain exports (largely to Southeast Asia) may reach 40-45 million metric tons by 2020.