Today in Russian Business – Jan 14, 2011

According to the Moscow Times, Russia has been placed 143rd among the 183 countries on the Heritage Foundation’s annual economic freedom rating, with a score of 50.5, below the world average of 59.7.  ‘Let’s admit that there are very few successes in this direction’: Medvedev is frank about corruption.  The President has ordered that income declarations filed by government officials be verified within three months as part of a renewed drive to fight graft.  According to Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, the number of corruption-related crimes involving top government officials and large bribes increased 100% in 2010.  Ria-Novosti reports that Russia is unlikely to adopt anti-corruption measures recommended by the Group of States Against Corruption, as they do not take into account the ‘peculiarities of Russian legislation’.  Russia’s federal budget deficit by the end of 2010 amounted to 3.9% of the GDP, which, Alexei Kudrin informed reporters, is less than expected.  Alexander Zanadvorov, principal owner of the Sedmoi Kontinent supermarket chain, stands to buy the smaller Mosmart chain for $498 million.