Today in Russian Business – Aug 30, 2010

Vladimir Putin says that the shareholder dispute at Norilsk Nickel ‘is causing damage to the company,‘ but says that the government’s freedom to intervene ‘is limited by the law‘.  Russia has no plans to accept Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu’s request that it cancel a planned sale of advanced missiles to Syria.  The proposed gradual increase in duties for foreign carmakers is a bid to encourage them to manufacture in Russia, says Putin, as General Motors says it may need to double its production capacity to meet Russian demand.  Avtovaz is working with its partner company Renault on a super-cheap version of the Lada, to be debuted next year.  According to the Audit Chamber (or ‘budget watchdog‘), Economic Development Ministry forecasts for last year, during the economic crisis, were a massive 14.6 percentage points off the actual figures, ‘while the maximum acceptable deviation is only 0.5 percentage points‘.