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Past Issue
March 2008

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


USRCCNE Treasurer Renee StillingsWelcome!
From Renee Stillings, Treasurer, USRCCNE

As this issue of the USRCCNE newsletter features several articles on the subject of travel, I thought I would share with you a couple of Russia-specific travel tidbits I have encountered recently.

On the consulate front, for those who have not noted this yet, the minimum consular visa fee is now $131, up from $100. Also, those traveling on student or work visas to Russia will find that regardless of the invitation date, visas will be dated for entry no earlier five business days from the date the visa itself is released.

Also, I've just arrived in Moscow last week and can't help but notice the sky-rocketing prices. Expats are complaining of landlords hiking rent up significantly - both for housing and commercial space. It used to be that there was more differentiation between restaurants, but now they are simply all expensive. Taking clients to lunch at many of my favorite establishments can now run $40-100+ per person. This can make such networking activity a very significant part of any company's budget. To put things in perspective, what was once a $5 milkshake at Starlite Diner (a favorite expat pitstop) today cost me nearly $10.

As daunting as the cost of entry has become, it is certainly not slowing an ever-increasing flow of foreign businesses seeking to take part in this booming economy. We have lots more information about travel to and from Russia and about that business growth and international investment opportunities.

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.


Through Dark Days and White Nights, Naomi F. CollinsNews Briefs

BISNIS Closes Doors! Once a staple of those doing business between Russia and the US, BISNIS is closing shop. Its director leaves with a few parting words and lots of advice.

World Public Opinion has polled the citizens of countries across the globe on their view of Vladimir Putin. Those citizens of G7 countries are highly critical. Russians are favorable.

Through Dark Days and White Nights (Book of the Month) - The author provides a personal, eye-witness account of the period from the mid 1960's through the turn of the 21st century, starting as a graduate student at Moscow State University and ending as the wife of the American Ambassador to Russia.

Auriga, Russian IT on Rise! USRCCNE member Auriga is expanding into Britain's market, expanding its partnership with Linux. Auriga is representative of the booming Russian IT market.

Cyphermint Teams with DHL on shipping technology for Walgreens and OfficeMax locations across the US.


Upcoming Events

London, UK, Feb 19-21 - Russian Alternative Investment Forum 2008 will once again bring together the most well-respected and dynamic industry managers and CEOs from hedge funds, private equity firms, venture funds, asset management companies, investment banks, pension funds, law firms, business consultants and investment boutiques.

New York, NY, Feb 21-22 - Does Leadership in Russia Matter? The Russia/Eurasia Forum aims to consider and debate how best to understand trends in this strategically important region of the world by going beyond conventional wisdom and tired stereotypes that often pass for analysis.

Moscow, Russia, Mar 4-6 - 5th Annual Corporate IT Strategies in Russia in the CIS Conference, will bring together market leaders for an informative discussion of corporate IT strategies.

Cambridge, MA, Mar 7-8 - Reassessing Post-Soviet Energy Politics is cosponsored by the Davis Center and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. It will explore issues involving natural gas and affecting Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia, and the European Union.

St. Petersburg, Russia, Mar 11-14 - The Petersburg Industrial Congress will discuss issues of industrial policy-making, development of productive forces as well as necessity of Russian and St. Petersburg industrial policy concept development and adoption as a system of measures and actions aimed at economic recovery and modernization will be discussed at the congress.

USRCCNE Boston, MA, April 17 (Hold the date, details and registration forthcoming) China, India and Russia - Our Partners in the New Global Economy, the major spring conference of the Mass Technology Leadership Council, will be held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The Chamber is organizing the Russia portion of the program, which will include a representative of the Russian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications and executive level speakers from companies active in Russia.

London, UK, Apr 20-22 - The Russian Economic Forum will once again serve as a showcase of Russian achievement in the economic sphere and will provide a platform for the Russian business community to meet Western trade and investment partners.

Moscow, Russia, Feb-March - Several conferences on several subjects will be held in Moscow during the first part of this year!


International travel to and from RussiaInternational Travel

Navigating Russia's New Visa Rules
Editorial note: The Moscow News offers a new article as some of the first business visas issued under the new regulations begin to expire. While some smaller businesses and freelancers have found the new regulations exceptionally trying, it seems that most have found ways to get legal, often with the help of law firms or business service providers such as USRCCNE member Alinga Consulting Group.

Suit Accuses Homeland Security of Illegal Searches (streaming audio)
Editorial Note: While this does not concern Russia directly, it will be of interest to our many members who travel between Russia and the US frequently.

Top Five Budget Hotels in Moscow
Russia's fearsome winter has helped Moscow see off an invading army or two over the years but, in the 21st century, it's more likely to be cripplingly high prices that repel visitors to the city.

Debtor Stay Home!
Under the new edition of the law "On Enforcement Proceeding" that comes into force on February 1, court bailiffs can prevent Russian citizens from going abroad if they owe alimony, back debts on bank credits or even utilities bills and old traffic fines.

Moscow-Paris Train Re-Opened
A one-way single second-class ticket (in a 3-berth compartment) costs 333 euros; a first-class spot costs 497 euros, while a one-berth compartment is 545 euros.


More of Articles of Interest

Massachusetts Export to RussiaDramatic Growth in Massachusetts Exports to Russia 
In 2007, there was another forty-four percent increase to a total of one hundred and sixty-eight million dollars.

Russia Tops BRIC in Connectivity Report 
A recent study by the London School of Economics and sponsored by Nokia has placed Russia at the top of the BRIC in terms of "Connectivity." The study looked at not only how "wired" a society is, but how well that society can and does use the infrastructure.

Wherefore the Winter Holidays?
The results of a recent USRCCNE poll, run in conjunction with USRCCNE member Alinga Consulting Group, reveals a majority of respondents feel that Russia's long holidays are a drag on business.

2008-2010 Economic Forecast
The Bank of Finland predicts Russian GDP will stabilize at 8-6% over the next two years and become less dependent on imports.

Obzor: Review of Russian Economic News
Russia's automotive boom, the future of financial markets, major government moves for 2008, and more.

Russia Election Update
This sixth installment from PBN brings informative, objective overview of the presidential campaigns now underway.

Russian Corner: Can Russia Regulate the Internet?
Russian lawmakers have recently proposed two major pieces of legislation that seek to regulate the Internet in Russia. One or both of these proposed pieces of legislation may be adopted; both are problematic.

Just for Fun: St. Petersburg!
A new overview of the current economic and political scene of St. Pete, along with a bit about its culture and history.

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.


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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