Today in Russian Business – Feb 9, 2010

Two former senior officials at the Federal Property Agency have been arrested on suspicion of extortion.  France’s Budget Ministry says that the highest and most interesting bid for a plot of land next to the Eiffel Tower came from the Kremlin, who plans to build a church and a cultural center there – but a group representing French holders of czarist bonds says it will sue Russia over the sale, apparently in a bid to reclaim its century-old debt.  Foreign exchange booths are disappearing in Russia ahead of new regulations that would force them to move into banks.  Authorities are wrangling over the future of Pushkin Square, which has been nominated for a transportation and development rehaul, to the dismay of critics.  Gazprombank sources have shot down reports of a forthcoming London IPO.  There goes the ‘innovation‘ buzzword again…this time from presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich.