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Past Issue
November/December 2007

The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia...


Josh Wilson, USRCCNE EditorWelcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

Happy Holidays! We hope this Thanksgiving found you surrounded with family and friends and with much past success to give thanks for.

This month the USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter focuses on politics in Russia. The coming political changes, with parlimentary elections on December 2nd and presidential elections early next year, will have an effect on business in Russia. We hope you will find the great deal of material we have provided here to be, overall, well-balanced and informative. We have striven to showcase a range of beliefs and a broad array of facts about the politics that may affect your businesses and investements. USRCCNE is not a political organization, but we do realize the serious impact politics can have on business. Keep an eye out for next month's newsletter, which will focus on Angel Investment in Russia, a fascinating new industry which was the subject of a recent successful Symposium, jointly organized by the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England, the Russian Venture Capital Association, and Babson College.

As always, this newsletter is dependent on you. If you have an announcement or a news item to be included in our newsletter, or if you would like to subscribe to this free publication, please contact us.

News Briefs

Walking on Ice

New Book on Business in Russia - "What Andresen has written is romantic and accurate and nostalgic and prophetic and all of the wonderful and confusing and simple things we 'veterans' know Russia to be. It is a story that resonates with any of us living through this dramatic and productive era."

New Book on America and the Caspian Sea Region - Steve LeVine talks about this fascinating subject in his new book and on an hour-long YouTube broadcast.

Auriga Participates in Conferences - including MEDICA'07 and InfoCom-2007, presenting medical and telecom software.

Auriga Announces New Skills, Stronger Services - including advances into the CRM, Documentum, and Scrum worlds.

RF Government Adopts Accreditation Standards for IT Companies - the measure makes it possible to select the firms which deserve a reduction in their tax burden.

Offshoring on Life Support?Their consensus is that low-level IT work will continue to be offshored, while higher-value tasks and client-facing positions are more likely to remain in the United States.

Technopolis, Moscow, Russia - Technopolis Plc. has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Moscow Administration. The given document enables the Finns to develop their technopark project in the Russian capital. Thus, Technopolis penetration into the Russian IT-sector, which began in 2005 in St. Petersburg, continues.


Upcoming Events

Washington, D.C., Dec 11 - Business Opportunities in Russia and Ukraine, a BISNIS event, will feature presentations from Russian and Ukrainian officials and members of the business community to give an honest overview of this region with a combined population of almost 200 million people, a booming middle class, and the price of commodities reaching an all-time high.


SRAS Newsletter. Featured article for November, 2007. Politics in Russia.

Coming Political Change

Is Russia Becoming Our Enemy Again? 
(streaming audio)
Six experts on Russia policy recently took on that question in an Oxford-style debate. Three experts argue in favor of the proposition and three argue against. Audio sponsored by NPR.

Russia on the Eve of National Elections 
(Streaming Video - requires Media Player)
Want to know what the US Congress really thinks of Russia? Watch this video on a recent meeting of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. It's long, but interesting - if a bit one-sided and depressing.

Obzor: Russian Domestic Politics
The following resource is meant to quickly introduce the reader to politics issues in Russia - with a focus on the upcoming elections, political parties, and political personages. You might also be interested in SRAS's Russian Foreign Policy in Review and Eurasian Review.

Russia's Power Ministries (PDF)
This publication by Brian Taylor of Syracuse University gives an in-depth look at who is ruling Russia. He overviews the major government agency, personages, and concepts currently affecting the Russian state - with an emphasis on what this might mean for American interests in Russia. Chief among these concepts are corruption and the Russian populace's inherent lack of trust in the state.

Russia and Central Asia (PDF)
This issue of the Russian Analytical Digest discusses the relations between Russia and the Central Asian countries. The authors examine the importance of oil and gas to the geopolitical make-up of the region and the impact of natural resources on the Russia-Central Asia relationship. The issue further also analyzes the trade patterns and trade volumes between Russia and the respective countries of the region.

Why This Cold Peace?
If a lack of recognition of what Russia has to give us has hindered our nations' success in working together, it is not just an ignorance of the talents to be found there. It is an ignorance of the worth of the relationship itself.


More Interest: Focus on Visas and Documentation

More Articles of Interest - Oct/Nov 2007Obzor: Review of Russian Economic News
Focus on international economic relations, demographics, and labor issues.

Visa Reform and Educational Markets
Russia has recently passed sweeping reforms to its visa regulations which may unexpectedly have positive effects on Russia's educational markets. 

AmCham Meeting on the New Visa Regulations
The printed minutes of the last meeting held by AmCham are considered to be (at least for now) the last word on the complicated and confusing new regulations on multi-entry visas. We strongly recommend that all foreigners in Moscow read them carefully.

Old Residency Permits Now Invalid
The Federal Migration Service confirmed on Tuesday that foreigners with old residency permits were being barred from leaving the country under newly enforced regulations.

Russian Corner: Understanding Russian VAT  
In today's international and often electronic economy, how does one define the location in which a service was rendered? Article 148 of the Tax Code explains how various types of services should be treated.

Just for Fun: Trekking in Kyrgyzstan
From glaciers to vodka baths, Margie Marlin saw it all!


Joining the USRCCNE is Easy
Members of the USRCCNE become a part of a vibrant network of individuals and firms dedicated to furthering business opportunities between the U.S. and Russia. We work with business organizations in the US and in Russia to bring exposure to the USRCCNE, and ultimately, to our members.

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