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Today in Russian Business – Nov 21, 2011

Oleg Deripaska has commented on the current euro crisis, anticipating that the currency will fall into line with the dollar and lead to a flood of cheap imports into Russia: ‘I’m surprised some still believe in the euro,’ he said, as Medvedev boasted that the Russian economy is looking ‘more solid and more powerful’ than that of ‘most European countries’.  Deripaska was the latest high-profile witness in the Abramovich/Berezovsky case in London, which continues to draw a rapt audience.  Russia’s Acron has resolved its dispute with Norway’s Yara.  The Russian central bank is not reading to consider investing in the eurozone, with the chairman saying that he does not understand how the ‘incomprehensible’ planned bailout fund is supposed to work; a bailout fund for Cyprus has been delayed.  WTO membership may not give Russia the higher debt grade it hopes for, says Standard & Poor’s.  President Dmitry Medvedev has ratified Russia’s customs agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, paving the way for intensified cooperation; economic union with Belarus and Kazakhstan is currently planned to come into effect in 2015.  Doctors are to be granted lower interest rates on their mortgages, says Medvedev.  Companies are likely going to have to start paying insurance fees for long-term foreign workers, who were previously exempt from the law under which companies currently pay a 34% fee for their Russian employees.  Despite ‘not very exciting’ (i.e. lossmaking) projects in Libya, Russian Railways says it is looking for new Middle East projects.