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Today in Russian Business – Feb 8, 2011

Boris Nemtsov talks to the BBC about capital flight ($40 billion in 2010, he says) and Russia’s need for foreign investments in non-commodities business, and calls for the West to bring sanctions against those who break the Russian constitution.  The United Shipbuilding Corporation will be replaced by Rosoboronexport in contractual talks with France to purchase Mistral assault ships, as the latter ‘apparently does not want new players to bite into its share in enormous profits from growing arms sales‘, reports RIA Novosti.  The grain harvest was ‘at least 3 million metric tons’ higher than government estimates, Bloomberg reports, and the Grain Union say that unrest in Egypt is pushing up prices.  One in ten mortgages is now in default thanks to the financial crisis, with a high level of deferrals, analysts say.  Moscow metro chief Dmitry Gayev, an official hired during Yury Luzhkov’s mayorship, has been relieved of his duties amid allegations of mismanaged funds.  The retail food market is in overdrive, with a growth rate of 13%, as more outlets open and food prices continue to rise, says the Moscow Times.  Russia’s major telecoms companies are sponsoring a ‘cybermilitia‘ to fight ‘negative content‘ on the internet such as child pornography and extremism.  Hacker Yevgeny Anikin has pleaded guilty to stealing $10 million through online exploits, but will not be jailed.  Russia is seeking to discourage speculative investment by relying on reserve requirements to drain cash from the economy, following in the footsteps of China and Turkey.