Today in Russian Business – April 24, 2008

Former Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin denied in court that he had ever been ordered to commit murder by Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin, and claimed that Federal Security Service agents gave him psychotropic drugs in 2003. State-run Rostekhnologii wants multibillion rouble funding and industrial assets from the government. British-based Inchcape will buy a 75.1% stake in car dealer Musa Motors Group for $200 million. The number of cars on Russia’s roads is set to double by 2015. General Motors will open its second plant in St Petersburg later this year, and Peugeot has announced raised revenue on increased Russian demand. Russia may lift a 5% import tariff on tin in order to increase output of tinplate. A new State Duma bill that will ensure majority state control over 42 strategic sectors, including energy, aerospace and telecommunications, could cause worry amongst foreign investors.