Avtovaz is on the brink of bankruptcy, Sergei Stepashin, the head of State Audit Chamber has informed Reuters. Russia’s government has stepped up the pressure on Renault to assist its embattled partner to stay afloat. According to Ria-Novosti, the Industry Ministry has concluded that the government should not bail out the Lada-maker. Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko has apparently said that sales of passenger cars may drop by 60% this year. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has been quoted in Forbes as saying that the ruble is likely to remain stable over the next three years, but the issue of joblessness will prevail for at least a year. The Federal Court Marshals Service is teaming up with Sberbank to create a new way of facilitating debt payments – allowing individuals to pay off loans via ATMs. Kraft Foods has opened a $50 million biscuit factory in Russia. The Kremlin has, says the Moscow Times, denied Iceland’s request for a loan. Russia’s MICEX has apparently more than doubled this year on speculation that a revived economy will increase demand for energy and raw materials and that company profits will improve.