Today in Russian Business – April 18, 2012

According to new IMF figures, Russia’s economy will expand 4% this year, faster than previously estimated, thanks to higher commodity prices.  President-elect Vladimir Putin has thanked former Finance Minister turned government critic Alexei Kudrin for his ‘firm and responsible financial policy’ during the financial crisis.  More than $10.1 billion has been budgeted until 2020 for developing the Glonass satellite navigation system.  A Moscow court has upheld the opening of a criminal investigation against Anatoly Ballo, deputy chairman of the country’s national development bank VEB, who has been charged with a $14-million fraud scheme.  Russia will soon sign a contract with Indonesia to deliver 37 infantry fighting vehicles worth more than $100 million, Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport has announced.  X5 Retail Group is apparently interested in buying privately-owned Siberian chain Holiday Classic.  Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has pulled out the stops to woo the American Chamber of Commerce.  Falling demand means farewell to the classic Soviet automobile, the Lada 2107.