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Today in Russian Business – June 2, 2010

Boeing has beaten Airbus to win a lucrative tender to supply Russian airline carrier Aeroflot with 65 mid-range jets.  Sberbank president German Gref has warned that the most recent cut in the benchmark interest rate may have a negative impact on the fragile banking sector.  Gref has also urged Russia to carry out major political reforms if growth is to be assured, for the ‘second stage’ of economic reforms requires ‘totally different political institutions’.  How did Russia cover its budget deficit in May?  Prime Minister Putin hopes that even though the Finance Ministry has been tightening its belt of late, the government may be able to raise salaries for state employees.  Uralkali owner Dmitry Rybolovlev intends to keep a minority stake in the potash producer, while seeking to sell control to a pool of local investors.  Welcome to ‘Vegas’: Russia’s biggest mall has opened in Moscow.  VTB has clambered back from six quarters of losses with a record net profit of 15.3 billion rubles.  Alcohol producer Rosspirtprom has made an offer to swap shares for distilleries and wineries that Sberbank holds as a result of loan deals.  Manufacturers believe that car sales in Russia could be buoyant this year, the WSJ reports.