Today in Russian Business – July 30, 2010

Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina is urging foreign investors to get involved with Russia’s planned $29 billion privatization scheme which, she insists, is not just about raising budget funds, but ‘a way for us to influence the structure of the economy‘.  Nabiullina indicated that large asset sales would not begin until at least next year.  ‘But investors beware. Russia’s legal system, including its protection of property, remains weak,‘ according to two members of Prosperity Capital Management who say that their company has endured ‘blatant legal abuses‘ in its dealings with TGK-2.  A new outline for the 2011-13 budget has been approved, details here.  It has just been decided that defense spending will be increased by 60% over the next three years, to $66.3 million, and that’s not including the hefty $2.65 billion it plans to spend on fighter jets, says RIA Novosti.  The BBC reports on worries that Russia’s pension system, which often fails to provide basic living costs for its current recipients, is due to collapse.  Russia’s drought continues to cause havoc for the global wheat market.  39 further US processing plants have been approved to ship poultry to Russia after agreeing to refrain from treating their products with chlorine.