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Today in Russian Business – March 16th, 2009

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin blamed global currency devaluations for the burden of foreign-currency debts, and said the International Monetary Fund remained a critical source of help for emerging economies to stabilize exchange rates.  Dmitry Medvedev on the other hand called for reforms in the IMF and other global financial institutions this weekend, saying that their activities should bestreamlined.  Medvedev has called on his country’s oligarchs to ‘return debts, moral debts to Russia, saying that the crisis provides an opportunity to exhibit ‘maturity’.  The haphazard execution of a customs overhaul is causing chaos and confusion at Moscow trade terminals, and Toyota’s St. Petersburg plant is to halt production for a week on declining sales.  Nasdaq is planning to open a St. Petersburg Exchange.  The Telenor/Vimpelcom saga ‘has drawn comparisons to the attack on Yukos and the drama last year at TNK-BP’.  Russia’s film industry sees no imminent end to the effects of the economic crisis.