Today in Russian Business – Dec 15, 2010

In what has been seen as an attempt to start pushing the dollar to the sidelines, Russia and China will today take a ‘small but symbolic step in their expanding economic relationship’ as a Moscow securities exchange will open direct trading between the renminbi and the ruble.  Were Mikhail Khodorkovsky ‘paroled or pardoned’, Russia’s stocks would be ‘ecstatic’, says one analyst quoted by Bloomberg.  Is the USP of Sberbank, 7% of which is up for grabs in Russia’s privatization drive, the fact that it is an institution to be trusted in an otherwise dubious investment landscape?  The FT’s Charles Clover considers.  Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has told the press that this year will set a new post-Soviet record in arms sales, totaling $10 billion.