According to a Reuters report, US President Barack Obama has told Dmitry Medvedev that Russia has taken ‘significant steps’ towards joining the World Trade Organization. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has also asserted that the US has swept the path clear for Russian accession, and suggested the deal could be agreed within 2-4 months. The New York Times reports on the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, which it suggests is a kind of BRIC-oriented alternative to a ‘standardized and predictable’ Harvard Business School. It seems Medvedev’s comments about lifting the grain export ban are not a matter of government consensus; the cabinet has told reporters that it will wait at least until July to contemplate the issue. Fortune magazine looks at the sharp maneuvering of DST’s Yuri Milner. Russian mobile operator Vimpelcom and Egyptian mogul Naguib Sawiris may be poised to establish an agreement to merge their telecoms assets ahead of President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Algeria next week.