Today in Russian Business- March 26, 2012

Kremlin economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich does not believe that the implementation of Vladimir Putin’s pre-election pledges will put a strain on the budget, despite forecasts which suggest they could cost up to 5% of GDP.  President Medvedev is unwilling to give up on his anti-corruption drive, despite the fact that it has had, in his own words, ‘almost zero effect’.  Stories like this do little suggest otherwise.  According to Reuters, Rusal’s CEO Oleg Deripaska is ready to buy out a blocking stake in Norilsk Nickel from the company for $9 billion.  Mechel could lose mining licenses for one of its key assets, the Yakutugol facility in South Kuzbass, for failing to observe environmental restrictions.  Samsung Electronics is apparently  joining forces with Russia’s leading mobile phone operator, MTS, in order to gain supremacy in the Russian market.  Promsvyazbank, one of Russia’s largest privately owned banks, may issue eurobonds worth about $500 million in the second quarter of 2012.  Former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has announced to the press that he has received a job offer from his close friend and AFK Sistema chief Vladimir Yevtushkenov; whether he will take it remains to be seen.