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Today in Russian Business – May 26, 2010

Russian stocks have taken their biggest beating since October as the euro zone crisis spreads.  President Medvedev is hard selling his idea for a Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley, wooing US venture funds with the idea that they would face fewer financial restrictions than at home.  The government is apparently drawing up a plan to entice foreign investors to Russia by reducing red tape.  Free land is up for grabs for innovators.  The New York Times has an in-depth on Russia’s new technological aspirations.  A rally to be held on the Day of the Businessman will apparently highlight some of the problems experienced by business people in Russia, as exiled tycoon Yevgeny Chichvarkin will make a statement by phone.  Medvedev has said the the G20 leaders need to deal with the issue of global financial supervision.  Diamond miner Alrosa, which has been hit hard by the crisis, is, according to the Moscow Times, considering an IPO.  Electricity trader Inter is contemplating an assets-for-shares-exchange with the government.  Megafon has booted Vimpelcom from its no 2 position in the mobile phone market, thanks to a pointed marketing campaign. The latter plans to spend $470 million on a squeeze out of minority shareholders.  Russia will recommence negotiations to join the WTO in June; Medvedev has expressed hope that US President Barack Obama will support the bid.