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Today in Russian Business – June 20, 2011

For analysis of President Medvedev’s reform-oriented St Petersburg address see Reuters;  the President apparently focused on the necessity of private businesses and private investors entering into the Russian economy.   First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov sees complacency as the major risk to Russia’s balance books.  A risk also noted by President Medvedev, who told the forum that ‘[t]he notorious stability could hide another period of stagnation‘.  Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, inventor of the term BRIC, does his bit to defend Russia’s presence in the group in a Moscow Times op-ed.  Capital flight in advance of the March 2012 election is, apparently, a major sticking point in Russia’s economic outlook.  Why Washington should refrain from giving Russia trade privileges, in the Washington Post.  ‘Can the United States blithely do business with this corrupt, authoritarian mafia state, led by a president-for-life who crushes all dissent?’  wonders another op-ed.  Garry Kasparov believes that a refusal from the US to do business with Russia would send a powerful and much-needed message.  See a transcript of his speech to the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the grave state of Russia’s political, judicial, and economic systems, here.  Russia has threatened to retaliate against Belarus over trade constrictions the country has introduced as it fights a currency crisis.  What Greece can learn from Russia’s experience of default.