Today in Russian Business – March 10, 2010

The Times responds to the news that Russia could consider forming a single economic market with Kazakhstan and Belarus by 2012: ‘A common currency would give [Putin] an economic lever to challenge the US dollar and the euro by creating a regional reserve currency.‘  Sistema Mass-Media is proposing changes for the Civil Code in a bid to punish Internet providers for the transfer of illegal content, rather than their clients.  The government’s cash-for-clunkers program to rescue the automobile industry only begun this week, yet is already receiving complaints about lack of clarity and poor timing.  The ruble is at a 14-month high, thanks in part to the surge in oil price.  ‘Besides the fact that foreign borrowing is not needed to finance this year’s budget deficit, it would have a perverse effect on managing monetary aggregates and the ruble exchange rate.‘