Today in Russian Business – April 12, 2011

According to income declarations (‘little more than a publicity stunt‘), Vladimir Putin is out-earning the President with an annual sum of $180,000.  Income inequality is widening constantly in Russia, according to new research from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, as the wealthy double their money and the poor see real value almost halved.  Swedish firm Swepos is using Russia’s GLONASS satellite technology, and says it ‘functions somewhat better at northern latitudes‘ than the American GPS system.  Kyrgyzstan has approved a plan to join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.  The government says that its grain exchange trade, implemented as a means of pushing prices down, has been effective in achieving its goal, and will cease amid lack of demand. ‘If the price grows, we will resume the trading.‘  According to these reported Bank of Russia figures, U.S. portfolio investments in Russian stocks dropped by 76% last year.