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Today in Russian Business – Sept 14, 2011

Alexander Lebedev has launched a lawsuit in Moscow claiming $11.6 million in damages to his business reputation resulting from the raid on his National Reserve Bank last year.  The next government will have to raise taxes, says Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, to protect against a possible collapse in oil prices.  He also made a vague mention about reforms to reassure investors, saying that these would be carried out after the elections, but that WTO membership would, in and of itself, constitute ‘a structural reform of a global nature’.  He also hinted that he would stay on in government next year.  Russia needs to attract more foreign workers, if this Security Council estimate that it will lose 10 million young and middle-aged workers by 2025 holds any weight.  Major companies listed on the merged stock exchange made up of MICEX and RTS will determine rates, which means that a rise in fees is unlikely, says a Federal Anti-Monopoly official.  A cap on rising energy prices and railroad rates, set in place by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is a pre-election move, not an economic one, says this piece.  Belarus has finally agreed to sell a majority stake in Bulgartabak Holding to VTB.  Grain exports this year are likely to exceed the official forecasts of 20 million tons.  Could the privatization of Sberbank and VTB take an entire decade?