Today in Russian Business – April 11, 2012

The Moscow Times reports that an exiled business partner of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alexei Spirichev, has been charged with tax evasion.  Khodorkovsky is, according to Bloomberg, urging the US to impose a visa ban and freeze the assets of some 30 officials involved in the imprisonment of Vasily Aleksanyan, the Yukos lawyer who died in prison having being denied specialist treatment for AIDS.  At a meeting with members of his Open Government initiative in Moscow, Dmitry Medvedev has said that amnesty for economic crimes should be possible but must be decided by the State Duma.  The President has urged the government to persist in its privatization plans.  Carmaker AvtoVAZ is looking for a loan of up to $2 billion to fund grand expansion plans.  Russian restaurant holding company Rosinter, which plans to work with McDonalds franchises in Russia, has announced flat first quarter sales in comparison with last year.  Food retailer O’Key has reported a 12.1% rise in first quarter like-for-like sales, up from a 5.6% increase in the previous quarter.  President Medvedev gets serious about piracy.