Today in Russian Business – Nov 19, 2009

The 2010 budget has passed a second reading after the Duma ‘brushed aside proposals from the opposition‘.  Most of the amendments were ‘minor‘, says The Moscow Times, but the new budget has more than halved state support for banks. Sberbank says it has no immediate need for fresh capital. The Federation Council has voted out United Russia’s proposed a controversial rising of taxes for car owners, after even the Kremlin came down against it.  This ‘embarrassment‘ for the party is ‘one of the very few instances where the authorities have backed down on plans because of a public outcry‘.  Russia is to be one of the recipients of New York Mayor Bloomberg’s $125 million donation to road safety organizations in low and middle income countries.  The Central Bank allowed the ruble to reach new highs against a dollar-euro basket yesterday.