Today in Russian Business – Jan 16th, 2009

It looks increasingly likely that Alexander Lebedev’s bid to buy London’s Evening Standard newspaper will go ahead – meanwhile the British press has turned its attention to his son, Evgeny.  Russia’s central bank has devalued the ruble yet again, and wage levels are crashing.  Despite the financial crisis, Russia plans to earmark $125 billion for arms purchases by 2011, and will spend $31 billion on weapons in 2009 alone.  The Duma will hear proposals to create a new state company today – to manage federal roads‘If this company will be a monopoly, it will become yet another way of pumping money out of the people, masked as a measure in the interest of drivers,’ said one critic.  State-run Vneshekonombank has bought a 75% stake in Ukraine’s Prominvestbank for $150 million.