Today in Russian Business – Jan 20th, 2009

Dmitry Medvedev’s economic adviser says the government is approaching the final stages of its ruble devaluation, and is planning to allocate another $40 billion to banks to support lending. Moscow rent prices are plummeting, with some properties’ rates down by over 50%.  Russia is considering loaning $20 million to Cuba, to be spent purchasing Russian goods.  The struggling region of Penza is firing government officials, apparently in the hope that they will improve the economy: ‘The more officials we fire, the more candidates there will be to start small businesses.’  The appointment of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to the board of TNK-BP brings the issue of corporate governance to the forefront, says the Moscow Times.