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Today in Russian Business – May 19, 2010

RFE/RL reports that, for the first time in recent months, there are more foreign investors withdrawing from Russia than investing in it.  President Dmitry Medvedev has argued that Russia’s recent $10 billion contribution to the International Monetary Fund should be used to help Ukraine.  Russia has offered Kiev the opportunity to set up a joint glonass venture; apparently advanced technology is an area that Medvedev is open to sharing with his Ukrainian counterpart.  The Soviet-era ZiL limousine could soon be back in service, on the orders of none other than the President himself.  VTB minority shareholder Alexei Navalny has apparently asked the bank’s chief internal auditor to investigate a suspicious deal or face inquiries by British judicial authorities.  Norilsk Nickel apparently exceeded expectations for profit in 2009.  The company plans to prioritize its more lucrative copper output.   The company’s CEO has dismissed the value of a possible merger with Deripaska’s RusAl.  Some direct flights to Georgia have resumed.  ‘The problem is that Russian miners earn about 67% less and pay double the amount for food than their counterparts in the West’.