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Today in Russian Business – Sept 15, 2008

Russian companies are struggling to refinance a backlog of $45bn in foreign debt, as the debt market shuts to third-tier borrowers and the cost of borrowing increases by over 2%. The crisis is apparently causing business leaders to back complaints about Kremlin foreign policy, although investors who favor the long-term perspective have not pulled out their funds. Will the MICEX slump threaten Russia’s oil boom? Finnish tire maker Nokian Renkaat, struggling to retain its value, is one of the companies to feel the effects of the Russian slump. As part of its plan to improve its armed forces, Russian spending on arms will rise to a record $47.9 billion next year, and the country has resumed long-range bomber missions. Russian shoppers are boosting western consumer markets.