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Today in Russian Business – April 8, 2011

Ahead of a visit from Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych insists that his country will not join a Russian-led customs union.  In response, Russia points out that Ukraine could save $8 billion a year on gas purchases if it joins, as it would be able to buy at Russian domestic prices.  The UK’s new Bribery Act, which outlaws bribery in private transactions, could catch some small Russian companies out, says the Moscow Times.  Russia wants 50% of the global space launch market, and should not ‘limit itself to the role of an international space ferryman‘, according to Vladimir Putin. ‘It is worth recalling that our automatic stations in the ’50s and ’70s were first in reaching the moon, Mars and Venus,‘ he said.  VTB’s move to acquire Bank of Moscow was an act of ‘political will‘, designed ‘to eliminate one of the core strongholds of the Luzhkovs’ financial empire‘.  Is Apple planning to expand into Russian retail with an outlet in Moscow?  Rusagro’s London IPO has been priced at the lower end of its range, suggesting proceeds of $330 million.