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Today in Russian Business – March 23, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a law that will relax registration rules for highly-qualified foreign professionals that want to work in Russia.  3M’s planned $15 million Russian investment in to build facilities in Tyumen and Samara could double as its expansion plan develops. They keys to Russian retail growth lie, not so much in major Russian cities as in its regions, where thirst for modern consumer goods and the retail market are growing.  Alexander Lebedev has given an interview to the BBC in which he defends himself against allegations that his past ties to Vladimir Putin make him less of an independent agent than a political figure such as Boris Nemtsov, and hints that he could move into politics in the future, although not for ‘four or five years‘.