Today in Russian Business – September 22, 2009

According to Bloomberg, Russia will soon recommence asset sales to offset its first budget deficit in ten years.  Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit that the state will need an even bigger role in financial affairs because of the economic crisis.  Mikhail Gorbachev has criticized Vladimir Putin for not using the boom years of flowing petrodollars to modernize the economy.  Rusal’s Libya excursion was apparently an attempt to sell 10% of the company to the Libyan Investment Authority.  The Moscow Times has an op-ed piece on the perils of being a small business in Russia.  Tagaz has denied that it stole the technological design of the Chevrolet Lacetti to make its own equivalent sedan.  In August retail sales declined by 9.8%, the sharpest drop in ten years.  The biggest maker of Kalashnikov assault rifles, Izhmash, is facing bankruptcy.  Former Yevroset owner Yevgeny Chichvarkin has complained about the ‘impossibility’ of doing business in Russia.  ‘They will try to kill me in prison, I know. And preferably on the way there so that I cannot say a word more’: the mobile phone tycoon has his reasons for not wanting to return from exile.