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Today in Russian Business – Dec 10, 2010

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin insists that Russia is safe from the threat of a sovereign debt crisis.  US businesses are exploring ways of getting involved with Russian industries in line with opportunities arising from its impending WTO membership – particularly in energy, nuclear power, space, and telecoms.  ‘The biggest risk [in Russia joining the WTO] is that the Kremlin will simply disregard rulings against Russia in the dispute-settlement system, the backbone of the WTO.‘  PepsiCo has completed building on a $110 million potato chip plant in Azov, and has agreements with six neighboring farms to supply it with potatoes; and a beverage plant is also on the way.  The Economist looks at Pepsi’s ‘special relationship with Russia‘ (its second-biggest market) which began in 1959, and reveals that, yes indeed, Wimm-Bill-Dann’s name ‘sounds like “Wimbledon”, because one of its founders loves tennis‘.  On Alexander Ivanov, art dealer to the oligarchs, and the ‘cheap£9 million Fabergé egg.  The Nokia Siemens joint venture is apparently planning to partner up with Russia on Skolkovo.  More positive words for Russian stocks from analysts this week.  Mikhail Prokhorov has sold $100 million worth of Polyus Gold shares; just after it was announced that he would take the post of CEO.