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Past Issue
October, 2010

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


USRCCNE Welcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

The big news this month is the dismissal of Moscow's mayor. After numerous incidents that saw his popularity with both the Kremlin and public decline, President Medvedev proclaimed that he had "lost confidence" in the mayor and summarily dismissed him. According to a 2004 law, governors are appointed by the president and approved by local legislatures. Moscow and St. Petersburg are treated as federal subjects under Russian law and thus their mayors are also appointed – and dismissed – by the president.

As we said in our last newsletter, this is not likely to result in major political reform or have wide economic consequences. Conservativism and stability are the battle cries of the ruling United Russia party and both can be seen in the selection of current deputy PM Sergei Sobyanin to become the next mayor. Sobyanin is likely to be much more dependent on and subordinate to the Kremlin than Luzhkov, who was originally elected mayor in 1992, originally opposed Putin, and who was always seen as someone the Kremlin had to deal with rather than someone it could easily control.

In other news, there is an ongoing trend in American universities and high schools to discontinue Russian and other language programs. In a time of increasing globalization of both politics and business, discontinuing language programs is, to say the least, illogical -- if not detrimental to American security and economic growth. If you agree with this, we encourage you to sign an online petition to help save language programs at SUNY.  

Don't Miss This Month!

  • Upcoming events  (First International Workshop of RUSTECU; Exibition of icons of Andre Rublev)
  • Travel News (Russia Shuts Foreign Exchange Booths; Aeroflot Meets Ryanair)
  • Member News (Eric Decker Accepted To Language Service Corps; Seminar "Update on Doing Business in Russia")
  • Articles and Resources (Russian Silicon Valley; New Ruling on "Thin Capital" Limitations for Loans)

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.


Upcoming Events

From Silicon Valley to Skolkovo: Forging Innovation Partnerships
(October 20-21, 2010 - San Francisco, CA) This year's US-Russia Business Council Annual Meeting will focus on efforts to drive innovation and modernize the Russian economy across a range of sectors, and how cooperation between Russian and US companies can help propel long-term growth and development in both countries. In addition to discussing Russia's place in the global economy, the meeting will highlight the potential for cutting-edge technologies to revolutionize Russia's market. The meeting will also bring together top experts in Russia and on Russia for dynamic and interactive discussions on the promotion of entrepreneurship.

First International Workshop of Russian Technology and Education Consortia
(November 15-19, 2010 - Tempe, AZ) Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of International Management is proud to invite you to the First Annual International Workshop of RUSTEC (Russian Technology and Education Consortia).

Treasures from Moscow: Icons from the Andrey Rublev Museum
(October 23, 2010 through July 25, 2011 - Clinton, MA) A stunning, major exhibition of 37 paintings and artifacts from Moscow’s Andrey Rublev Museum—most never shown before in the U.S—opens to at the Museum of Russian Icons, the only venue for this show.

Travel News!
SRAS has published a new brochure on why students should study Russia – and how SRAS can help them do so.

Russia Shuts Forex Booths, Hails Strong Ruble
The country's last foreign exchange booths, which sprang up by the thousand after the collapse of the Soviet Union, closed Thursday, as a strong ruble and increased use of cards enabled the Central Bank to ban them.

New TSA Rules
The next phase in the Secure Flight program requires that beginning November 1, all passengers must have full Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) in their reservation at least 72 hours prior to departure.

Aeroflot Meets Ryanair
Aeroflot has long been the butt of jokes among frequent flyers – and its plans to create a budget division could give new wings to tired old gags about customer service.

Aeroexpress has become a new partner of the MasterCard® SELECT program
Aeroexpress, which works as an operator of express railways routes between Moscow city center and the Moscow airports (Vnukovo, Domodedovo, and Sheremetyevo), has become a full partner of the MasterCard® SELECT program.

Pulkovo to Introduce Self-Service Check-In
St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport, the fourth busiest in Russia, today announced a major improvement to passenger services with the selection of SITA’s AirportConnect Open platform to provide agent and self-service check-in for its six million passengers.

USRCCNE and Member News

Alinga Consulting Group Celebrates 10 Years!
On September 21, Alinga Consulting Group held its 10 Year Anniversary Party at the Golden Apple Hotel in Moscow.

Seminar: "Update on Doing Business in Russia"
Alinga presents a Round Table Breakfast Discussion on Doing Business in Russia. Targeted at CEOs, Head of Rep/Branch Offices and CFOs, this informative seminar will include the following topics: Typical mistakes found during Russian Standards Audit of foreign own subsidiaries; Choosing an Auditor – things to keep in mind; Migration Law – Does Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work in practice?

Erin Decker Accepted to Language Service Corps
Erin Decker, former SRAS Translation Abroad student and current SRAS Moscow Coordinator, has recently been confirmed as a Charter Member of the National Language Service Corps (NLSC).

SRAS Has New Search Engine
SRAS has launched as new program on Central Asia and reformatted business and translation internships. They are preparing several other new programs as well. All will be listed in their new, handy program search engine online..

Articles & Resources

Russian Silicon Valley: Russia Creates New High-tech Development Zone
Seeking to create its own version of Silicon Valley, the Russian government is building a new "technology incubator" zone.  In September 2010, President Dmitri Medvedev signed a new law to establish the "Skolkovo Innovation Center," located 20 kilometers to the west of Moscow.

New Ruling on Russian “Thin Capital” Limitations for Loans
A recent challenge by the Russian tax authorities demonstrates their efforts to broaden the application of the "thin capitalization" rules, which limit the ability of Russian borrowers to deduct interest payments above certain thresholds.

Russia Strategy - Crouching Bear... Hidden by the Woods
Russia’s improved investment case is obscured by global concerns.

Siberia’s $1bn ski resort eyes upscale Chinese
Tourist developer RusResorts has announced a $1+bn Gora Bychya ski resort project for Russia’s Buryatia region.

Ex-Moscow Mayor Discusses Job Loss
The former mayor of Moscow speaks to CNN's Matthew Chance about why he thinks he was fired.

Business Calendar
Intended to provide accountants and HR managers with information on the number of work days and hours for each record period of next year, this calendar (in Russian only) gives a sneak peak at the most likely holiday schedule for next year. The actual, official calendar is usually approved by the Duma very late in the year.

Ust-Luga pumps another $300m into St. Pete mega-seaport
Another $265-300m has been pledged for the Ust-Luga sea port just off St. Petersburg as the $2bn multipurpose mercantile port logistic project in the Gulf of Finland is gathering steam after months of investment shortages. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Russian Corner: Hiring Foreign Employees
In the modern day global economy, many companies hire foreign citizens. When hiring a foreigner, companies can run into various problems: obtaining work permits for foreign citizens and notifications from regulatory authorities. This article aims to point out all the underlying potential problems that companies may run into if they decide to hire a foreign citizen. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Just for Fun: United Russia - Russia's Ruling Party
SRAS program Politics in Translation offers an introduction to Russia's ruling party, its past history and present political platform. Subscribe to the SRAS newsletter 



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, (specializing in the New England region) and in Russia to bring exposure to the USRCCNE, and ultimately, to our members. Join today!

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