MTS Hopes to Save US$1 Billion Business in Uzbekistan

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Aug. 28 – Russia’s top mobile phone company MTS still hopes to save its US$1 billion business after losing its operating license in Uzbekistan, where four local managers have been detained and a campaign of intimidation against other staff of its Uzbek subsidiary is in a progress.

“Any way forward, as an integral part, needs to include the release of our people and the stopping of the intimidation and harassment campaign against our other employees,” a senior MTS executive told reporters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov intervened to help to secure the release last week of MTS’s acting country manager, a Russian citizen, but four local managers remain in custody. Continue reading…

Foreign Venture Capital Firms to Invest in Russian IT Market

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Aug. 23 – According to various estimations, more than 300 million euros (US$371 million) is expected to be invested into information technology companies in Russia in 2012. Foreign firms are also expected to take part.

There are three foreign firms among the top 10 venture capital companies investing in Russia – Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners, United States-based Insight Venture Partners from New York, and the global venture capital firm Continue reading…

Russia’s Second Largest Social Network to Launch English Version

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Jun. 20 – Russia’s second-largest social network Odnoklassniki is starting an English version of the site, the company told RIA Novosti.

“People in 229 countries use the Odnoklassniki social network. Pitcairn Islands [in the Pacific] is the only territory we have not registered a single visit from,” the company said in a statement.

“Therefore, we decided to translate Odnoklassniki into English,” Alexander Izyadnov, the project’s marketing and strategic communications director of the company, told RIA Novosti. Continue reading…

Russia Ranks Second in Pirated Software Users, after China

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May 22 – Russia took second place for pirated software use, after China, according to a new survey from the international software makers association’s Business Software Alliance (BSA), but overall pirating is down.

The trade group, a leading advocate for stronger intellectual property rules and stricter enforcement practices, for the first time directly asked survey respondents how often they acquire pirated or not fully licensed software in its 2011 Global Software Piracy Study, the ninth installment of the annual report. Continue reading…

Russia Insists Foreign Companies Use GLONASS

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Apr. 20 – The Russian government will insist that foreign companies in the country use the GLONASS satellite navigation system equipment, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov said at the Sixth Annual Satellite Navigation Forum in Moscow.

According to Surkov, the requirement to use chipsets supporting Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) will affect communication equipment producers and carmakers.

Meanwhile, some of the foreign gadgets already support GLONASS. Continue reading…

Russia’s Yandex Money to Accept Foreign Bank Cards

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Apr. 11 – Users from any country, other than Russia, can make payments to the sites of Russian companies or e-shops through Russia’s online payment system Yandex.Money. Yandex is a popular Russian search engine.

The payment system has recently launched a redesigned website: The website is the main space for transactions, such as money transfers, online payments and transfers of virtual Yandex money to users’ bank accounts. Money transfers will take up to two business days. Continue reading…

French Vostok to Become Pioneer in Russian Electricity Market

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Feb. 29 – French grid company Vostok has been contracted to run the Tomsk Distribution Company of Russia’s grid firm MRSK for an initial 18-month probationary period, the companies announced on Tuesday. It’s the first time a foreign entity has been permitted to manage an operating entity in Russia.

“This is the first instance of such cooperation with Western partners. The French party has made the right decision by choosing Siberia for its operations,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin noted.

Tomsk is a city in the southwest edge of the great Siberian Taiga, the administrative center of Tomsk Region, located about 3,500 kilometers from Moscow. Continue reading…

Russia Briefing Now Accessible in Mobile App

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Free app brings Russia Briefing to your fingertips

Dec. 16 – The brand new Asia Briefing mobile application brings the latest business news and foreign investment insights from Russia Briefing web site right to your fingertips.

The free app integrates with legal and tax regulatory updates from Dezan Shira & Associates, along with China, India, Vietnam, Mongolia Briefings, and (for emerging Asia). With hourly updates, it helps you stay on top of Asia’s dynamic investment environments. Continue reading…

Details on Russia’s Real Estate Deals Soon Available Online

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Nov. 16 – The Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography, known as Rosregister, will launch a new online service providing information about each real estate deal that has been made in every Russian region.

Information about all registered real estate deals since 1999 will also be published in the new portal. For example, by some estimates, 17 million real estate deals were made in Russia last year. Continue reading…

Russia Set to Return to Deep Space after 15 Years

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Nov. 9 – Russia is preparing for a historic return to deep space with the launch of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft on Wednesday on an ambitious and risky three-year US$163 million mission to bring back a soil sample from the Red Planet.

The launch is scheduled for 12:16 a.m. Moscow time this Wednesday (20.16 GMT Tuesday), Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) reports. The Zenit-2SB rocket with the Phobos-Grunt mission is set to launch from the Baikonur Space Center located in Kazakhstan. Continue reading…

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