Today in Russian Business – Dec 30, 2010

Comments made by Vladimir Putin on protectionism, especially relating to the heavily subsidized car industry, have apparently cast some doubt over Russia’s WTO accession, which is widely expected to happen in 2011.  Oleg Deripaska is reportedly incensed at Norilsk Nickel’s $3bn share buy-back scheme, calling the sale (which could increase the share of votes in the company held by an alignment of Norilsk management and Vladimir Potanin to more than 40%) ‘gross corporate blackmail’.   In another blow to the Deripaska camp, his power utility, EuroSibEnergo Plc, has said that Norilsk Nickel’s board rejected its $2.1 billion cash offer for a 79% stake in OAO OGK-3, selling it instead to state-run utility Inter RAO UES.   Forbes takes us on a tour of the palaces of the mega rich.  Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s Sistema has launched Russia’s first smart phone with a Glonass navigation chip.  President Medvedev has sacked two space officials deemed culpable for the crash of the SatNav-rivaling Glonass satellites.  Julia Ioffe examines Russia’s complex relationship with Facebook.  Forbes focuses on GE’s interest in investing in Russia.