Today in Russian Business – Jan 30, 2012

Vladimir Putin is calling for a 10-year program to increase investment in science and technology research, and says that the ‘ideology’ of state control over businesses should be restricted.  Lawmakers do not want the Customs Union to lift a ban on re-using drinks bottles, due to concerns that it could lead to an increase in contraband alcohol.  Twitter’s new censorship laws, which will allow country-specific restrictions, have rankled some elements of Russia’s opposition.  The lawsuit between Len Blavatnik and JPMorgan Chase is getting ugly.  Trends in Russia’s privatisation deals are hard to spot, because ‘the deals are obviously much more politically driven’.  Vkontakte’s plans for an IPO are currently on hold.  The job market generally suffers from a lack of candidates at the moment – except in the banking sector.  Retailer Magnit announced 20% growth in full-year earnings last year.  First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov estimates that $32 billion left Russia in 2011 in money laundering schemes.