Today in Russian Business – Sept 30, 2011

ITAR-TASS reports that Acting Finance Minister Anton Siluanov will replace Alexei Kudrin in his positions in the IMF, the World Bank and the Eurasian Economic Community’s anti-crisis fund.  Meanwhile the former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will retain the post of the chairman in the Presidential Council for Financial Markets and will attend its next meeting.  Putin’s decision to reclaim the presidency may have a considerable impact on how the US congress debates Russia’s possible entering of the WTO, says this article.  Under another decade of Putin, with Russia’s economic model, if oil prices remain high, reforms are likely to be shelved and stagnation will ensue, says a gloomy prognosis from Reuters.  RFE/RL reports that around 150 workers at a boron-producing plant in Russia’s Far East have gone on strike over wage arrears; the workers are also seeking the nationalization of the plant.  Russian search engine Yandex continues to raise its US profile with a $15 million investment in Silicon Valley start up Blekko.  In an effort to improve production in steel and related commodities, Severstal has decided to spin off its gold mining unit Nord Gold.  Precious metals miner Polymetal has its sights on a listing on the London Stock Exchange, in a move it hopes will raise about $500 million.