Today in Russian Business – Feb 24, 2011

[T]he widely known personality disconnect between Putin and Barroso’, conveyed by Wikileaks diplomatic cables, should make today’s meeting between Russia’s Prime Minister and the European Commission president on the subject of trade and energy an interesting if fractious affair.  Hermitage Founder Bill Browder has responded to Igor Sechin’s suggestion that he should be a ‘happy man’, despite a traumatizing battle with the Russian authorities which left his lawyer dead, with an article in the Wall Street Journal.  ‘[M]ore local companies are emulating Western standards and adopting ethics codes to help them operate in a corrupt environment’ says the Moscow Times, but wonders, how well are they actually working?  Tycoon Roman Abramovich has lost his bid to have the $3.3 billion compensation lawsuit held against him by Boris Berezovsky rejected; the latter will pursue claims that Abramovich used ‘threats and intimidation’ to force him into selling a stake in oil company Sibneft.  The BBC has an interview with Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in which he emphasizes the need to ward off inflation.  According to the Moscow Times, Norilsk Nickel says it will not raise its $12.8 billion offer to buy back shares from Oleg Deripaska’s RusAl, due to fears of incurring unmanageable debts.  If the deal with Italy’s Wind Telecom goes through, mobile operator VimpelCom will not pursue any further foreign mergers or acquisitions, its CEO has informed Kommersant.