Today in Russian Business – March 4th, 2009

Many of Russia’s scrap steel yards are set to close this year as production is declining dramatically along with demand.  Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov has reportedly bought 20% of mining company Polyus Gold from Vladimir Potanin for around $700 million.  ‘While businesses are compelled to cut back on expenses and staff as sales plummet and the inflation rate increases, bureaucrats across the country are stepping up their extortion demands on the most vulnerable sector of the economy — small and medium-sized enterprises.’  The Bank of New York Mellon will meet with the Russian government to discuss settling their $22.5 billion lawsuit, amid suggestions that Russia will push for a settlement due to its being strapped for cash.  Russia’s main automaker AvtoVAZ halted production after SOK Group, its parts supplier, suspended deliveries.