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Today in Russian Business – Feb 2, 2010

McDonald’s is celebrating 20 years of business in Russia, announcing plans for significant expansion this year in the country, which is ‘one of the fastest-growing [fast-food] markets in Europe‘. The country’s first McDonald’s celebrated with a traditional Russian accordion band, writes the New York TimesIrina Yasina, writing in The Moscow Times, tries to take the temperature of the economic crisis: ‘[…] outside Russia, no responsible economists can even begin to say whether the crisis is truly over. They know that relatively calm markets do not mean that strong economic growth is around the corner.‘  New statistics released by the Federal Statistics Service show that the economy saw its worst performance for 15 years in 2009, contracting by 7.9%.