Today in Russian Business – Feb 23rd, 2009

Oleg Deripaska supposedly told Russian reporters that ‘the state should be left alone. We do not need financial help from the state,’ but Deripaska’s LDV, a van group based in Britain, is reportedly due to hold emergency talks with British officials today to seek financial help from the government, with the move being studied carefully due to Deripaska’s alleged links with Britain’s Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson.  Dmitry Medvedev’s Golden 1,000 still exhibits flaws of nepotism, says The Times, lamenting ‘a distinct lack of fresh blood’.  The paper also ‘investigates the rise and fall of the oligarch’ in a detailed report of the history of Russia’s richest men, as well as those who allegedly helped Vladimir Putin to power.  Russia’s Finance Ministry says it will guarantee loans worth a total of 15 billion rubles ($415.6 million) to 9 defense industry firms, following a promise from Dmitry Medvedev to proceed with military modernization despite the financial crisis.  Western banks are reportedly feeling anxious about Russia’s ability to repay its $500 billion corporate debt as its cash is increasingly allocated for domestic spending needs.