Reuters offers a Factbox on Russia’s privatization plans. Howard Amos describes skeptical views on the implementation of this plan in Moscow Times. This article draws opinions on the Kremlin’s commitment to economic liberalization. Bloomberg considers how the St Petersburg Economic Forum compares with Davos. General Motors Co has announced it will increase its St Petersburg assembly plant work force by 1,500 workers, on the back of increasing sales in Russia. A new World Bank survey has ranked Moscow as the worst of 30 Russian cities in which to do business. President Hugo Chavez has announced that Venezuela will sign a $4 billion loan agreement to buy Russian military equipment. Boris Titov, Putin’s commissioner for business rights has argued that Russia would send a positive signal to investors if it were to free former Yukos Oil Co. owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky as part of an amnesty for people convicted of economic crimes. Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element holding company as signed an $820-million deal agreement with top bank Sberbank and Changi Airports International to create a joint venture of airport management in Russia’s south. Forbes reports on how Russia’s budget has fallen victim to declining oil prices.