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Today in Russian Business – Jan 28th, 2009

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will give the opening speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos this evening, in which he will ‘express his attitude toward the causes of the crisis and the circumstances on the world arena … that led to the crisis’ (according to his spokesman), and is expected to call for a change in the world economic order.  Putin will become the first Russian official to open the annual forum.  The Times says that he will speak ‘diminished as an international figure by the global financial crisis, and challenged at home as Prime Minister in ways he never was as President’Another commentator notes that ‘the Chinese and Russians are no longer as cocky as they were about six months ago’.  Earlier this week, Vladimir Putin said he saw ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for the Russian economy later this year, but Troika Dialog owner Ruben Vardanian says the economy won’t resume expansion until 2010.  Read more about the Kremlin’s planned 900 billion ruble cash injection for its banks, which Forbes says won’t make any difference to the crisis.  The central bank has indicated that the depreciation of the ruble is coming to an end, but market activity suggests that investors do not quite trust that this is so, and the currency has hit its lowest level yet against the Euro.  Vimpelcom insists that the Russian consumer telecommunications market is not shrinking