Today in Russian Business – Feb 10th, 2009

President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia’s economy should brace for a ‘tough year’, that signs of recovery shouldn’t be expected before 2010, and that the country has not yet seen the worst of the crisis.  Despite a litany of mistakes, ‘reasonable economic policies’ may yet prevail, suggests the Moscow Times.  Russia denies it is considering restructuring its companies’ debt, after a rumor to the contrary caused the euro to drop.  ‘There are no such plans in the government,’ said a spokesman.  Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works is apparently ready to pay its 801 million ruble ($22 million) debt to Mechel, which would end a major dispute that has helped cripple the economy’.  Mechel has also just received a government cash injection.  The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow will not reopen until at least 2011, a good three years behind schedule.  The government has drafted legislation that would aid banks making consumer loans for purchases of Russian-made cars, amid fears that sales could drop by almost 20% this year.