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Today in Russian Business – March 1, 2011

Reuters has a report on how Norlisk Nickel manages to draw young graduates to the inhospitable mine-pocked climes of Siberia, the ‘Mecca of metallurgy’.  Toyota Motor Corp has announced it will collaborate with Russian automaker Sollers to build Land Cruiser Prado light pick-up trucks in Vladivostok as of 2012.  The Ministry for Economic Development has abandoned plans to put an export duty on steel and iron ore, apparently in order to protect domestic automakers.  Potash miners Uralkali and Silvinit are set for a legal battle to complete their $23.9 billion merger after a court halted the process following a claim by investor Acron.  Russia will reduce borrowing plans this year as higher revenue from oil shrinks the budget deficit to less than 2% of gross domestic product, according to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.  Yelena Baturina, president of the Inteko construction firm has lost the number one spot in Finans magazine’s listing of most influential businesswomen, plummeting to an inglorious 41st place.  The Moscow Times reports on how the 8 percentage point social tax hike, which went into effect at the start of the year, has taken its toll on many small businesses.