Azerbaijan, Russia, and Iran have signed the final protocol for construction of the Kazvin-Resht-Astara railroad. Severstal is still interested in acquiring US steel company Esmark Inc, despite being rebuffed in its $1.24 billion takeover offer. President Dmitry Medvedev will chair a meeting held today to discuss ways of upgrading the textile industry and raising the living standards and social protection of its employees. New statistics show that Russia’s food prices have risen 11.6% since the start of the year, compared with 3.1% in Europe. Sberbank and Alfa Bank have sold millions of bonds to international investors this week. United Company Rusal denies that it is buying up the votes of minority shareholders of Norilsk Nickel ahead of an investor meeting.