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Today in Russian Business – Dec 22, 2009

S&P has revised its negative outlook on Russia: ‘It’s a good sign, a Christmas present.‘  Russia and Egypt could be on the verge of signing a long-term wheat import agreement.  Russia’s London ambassador, Yury Fedotov, says that Russia will not pay its £3 million worth of congestion charges as a ‘question of principle‘, saying that the charge violates the Vienna Convention (about 50 other countries are also refusing to pay).  CTC Media has settled a court case with its former chief executive, Alexander Rodnyansky, by paying him $26 million in cash.  Mikhail Prokhorov is appealing to his fellow billionaires to invest in MFK, his bank, as it seeks to raise $200 million from new shareholders.  The Central Bank bought $1 billion worth of gold from Gokhran, although the purchase makes no difference to the bank’s holdings, as Gokhran’s holdings are already counted as part of Russia’s gold reserves.