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Today in Russian Business – June 4, 2009

Presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich has said that Russian economy will probably remain stable for the next few months as oil prices remain at $50 per barrel or more.  Russia’s economy has apparently shrunk at the slowest pace since October.  The Central Bank has said it will further cut its lending rate by 0.5 percentage points to 11.5% from June 5.  New regulations on stock floats will limit IPOs on foreign markets to 5% of the company.  With Russia’s recent investments in Opel and Facebook, has the country ‘bounced back once again, phoenix-like, from the precipice?‘ asks the Moscow Times‘Smart Western investors will be here to stay’ suggests another optimistic commentator.  Medvedev apparently does not think that foreign investors are under pressure in Russia, but does believe that Russian investment laws and the legal protection of investments should be improved.  The government will give another $806 million loan to Avtovaz.  The New York Times suggests that the spike in oil prices has removed the onus on the Russian government to introduce reforms.   Is ‘the Putin system . . . politically, institutionally and intellectually antithetical to the task of modernization? ponders one commentator.