Today in Russian Business – April 25, 2012

Outgoing President Medvedev has repeated his promises to decrease the state role in the economy, improve Russia’s business climate and tackle graft.  A poll taken at a Vedemosti business breakfast has found that nearly 33% of the attendees picked ‘systemic and mundane corruption’ as the most serious problem.  An officer of the Russian Interior Ministry’s cybercrime unit, the K Directorate has been arrested on allegations of bribe-taking.  Rusal Chief Oleg Deripaska has told the BBC that Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been ‘punished too much’ but suggests that there could be parallels between the lack of separation of business and politics in Russia and the UK.  President Medvedev has hinted that there is no need for an increase in taxes.  Find out here why Alexei Kudrin believes that the government’s plans to develop eastern Siberia are flawed.  A working group of the Strategic Initiatives Agency has developed a plan for bettering the investment climate through clarifying customs procedures in the country.  Shareholders in Russia’s second largest mobile phone operator MegaFon, which is now apparently under the control of Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, have confirmed plans for a London IPO that is hoped to raise up to $4 billion.  In a sign of strong appetite for the Internet market, VTB Capital has led a group of investors to raise $18 million for Fast Lane Ventures, a backer of Russian online start-up firms.