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Today in Russian Business – Dec 22, 2011

Vladimir Putin is calling for tax reforms that will boost investment, and discusses how to move away from Russia’s dependence on petrodollars, as this Guardian editorial says that Putin cannot afford to ‘buy back his popularity’ because ‘the budget needs crude oil to average $115 a barrel to break even.’  Another journalist notes that ‘a transition to a smart economy is impossible without a corresponding change in the country’s social and political spheres.’  But the economic record that Putin will be looking to break is his own, says Bloomberg.  Russia will place $7 billion worth of eurobonds next year.  On the recent conference about small businesses and the Internet, and Sberbank’s programs to boost new companies.  Tour firm Travelmenu.ru’s mocking Medvedev commercial has gone viral.  Morgan Stanley estimates that 14% of next year’s Severstal revenue will come from the U.S.  Sberbank may delay its 7.6% stake sale until after the presidential elections.  President Dmitry Medvedev is anticipating that a Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan will come into existence by 2015.  Russia’s steelmakers should be well-girded against new EU measures cutting import quotas, says this piece, but considers the likelihood of a decline in production.  Vladimir Putin’s accounts have supposedly been made public.  The BBC has compiled a ‘need to knowoligarch special.