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Today in Russian Business – June 22, 2009

A World Bank report has said that the Russian economy is contracting more than expected and ‘damaging waves’ are rippling through the whole of the ex-Soviet Union.  Vladimir Putin has signed a second anti-crisis plan to prepare for the ‘post-crisis’ period.  Russia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped for the first time in a year last month.  The New York Times reports on the imminent sale of Telenor’s stake in Vimpelcom.  The Federal Court Marshals Service has ordered the state to auction the 26.6% share.   Bad debts within VTB could reach $9 billion by June 2010.  The Kremlin has decided to make recapitalization funds available to only Russia’s biggest banks.  Transport Minister Igor Levitin has retained his place as chairman of Aeroflot’s board of directors.  The airline is planning redundancies to save money.  Avtovaz has stated that it is not considering any kind of partnership with Opel or with Magna, following comments by Sberbank head German Gref.  Ikea claims that is has been ‘cheated’ out of $190 million in gas and electricity bills by Russia and has warned, ‘there will be lawsuits’.