The leader of Russia’s second largest labor union, Boris Kravchenko, is eying a merger with another mass union in an attempt to reinforce the leverage of workers at a time of high unemployment, the Moscow Times reports. KPMG’s business outlook survey has posted optimism second only to Brazil’s regarding Russia’s prospects for growth in manufacturing and the service industries. Bloomberg reports however that the slowdown in manufacturing worsened last month, leaving exporters concerned. The government will provide rocket engine manufacturer Energomash with $68 million for an upgrade. X5 Retail Group, bolstered by an increase in profits, will up spending on new stores next year. Former VimpelCom CEO Alexander Izosimov will take up the role of CEO at the newly enlarged Vimpelcom Ltd., less than a year after resigning from the company in its previous incarnation. Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has apparently refused to accept that a Russian case held against business man Yevgeny Chichvarkin is a political one. Britain’s Business Secretary and Deripaska yacht guest, Peter Mandelson, is interviewed about healthy Russian-British trade links here.