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Past Issue
November, 2013

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

USRCCNE Welcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

We hope to see all of you in Boston for our Breakfast Seminar on the 21st. We'll be discussing media coverage of Russia and how that can affect the atmosphere that business and diplomacy operate in. Josh Wilson, USRCCNE General Editor, and David Filipov, former Boston Globe correspondent in Moscow, will be on hand to lead the discussion.

This month our newsletter focuses on some exciting news from Russia that is getting little coverage elsewhere – the massive investments that Russia is set to make in transport infrastructure. Several billion dollars are to be invested in rails, ports, and other projects over the next few years. Russia also continues to ease visa requirements on a bilateral basis with select countries.

You'll also find news about Russia's high tech and internet markets, its boom in retail space, and much more.

Don't Miss This Month!

  • Upcoming Events (Russian and American Current Perceptions - in Boston)
  • Member News (Alinga Expands; Citizen Diplomacy Encouraged)
  • Travel News (Visas, Rail, Port, Air, and more)
  • Articles (Technology and Other Major Investments)

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

USRCCNE Russian and American Current Perceptions and Implications for International Relations and Business
(November 21, 2013 - Boston, MA) How can informed objectivity be maintained in this environment – and how can relations be improved when the views of both countries’ societies are being polarized? This is of particular interest to investors and businessmen – who often see relations as an important part of determining risk assessment when calculating their strategies.

Seminar "Changes in Russian Legislation in 2013"
(November 27, 2013 - Moscow, Russia) Alinga Consulting is organizing a seminar to discuss major changes in Russian legislation that will affect your business in 2013 and 2014. We will also address certain issues pertaining to how companies interact with the regulatory authorities.

Auriga Invites to Future Office 2013
(November 28, 2013 - Moscow, Russia) The last few years demonstrate a pronounced trend of building intelligent cities with intelligent homes and offices and an intellectual infrastructure. This idea makes events dedicated to the building of future offices especially interesting. One such event where participants will be introduced to the latest trends in the area of building intelligent work environments is the Future Office conference.

Family Day at the Museum of Russian Icons: Toyland!
(December 14, 2013 - Clinton, MA) Learn about Russian toys and traditions, take a family-friendly gallery tour, make take-home arts and crafts activities, enjoy free refreshments, and more! All activities are free with event admission.

Concert: St. Petersburg Men's Ensemble
(December 14, 2013 - Clinton, MA) The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble was founded in 2003 to popularize Russian folk songs and secular and ecclesiastic compositions. They regularly perform internationally; their holiday concert here at the Museum has become an annual holiday tradition.

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USRCCNE and Member News

Alinga Sponsors Moscow Youth Soccer League-2013
Alinga is proud to sponsor the Moscow Youth Soccer League (MYSL), a great organization that has been operating in Moscow for more than 15 years. It is a highlight for hundreds of boys and girls each year.

Alinga Expanding to St. Petersburg - Hiring Manager
Alinga is seeking an expat or Russian already living in St. Petersburg, a fluent English and Russian speaker, with previous sales and cold calling experience in the services industry, and who is a self-starter with the ability to work independently to build Alinga's new client base in St. Petersburg.

Study with SRAS
SRAS is still accepting applications for Spring Semester, 2014 study programs and internships located in Ukraine and Bishkek.  

Auriga Named to 2013 Global Services 100 List of Top IT Service Providers
For the eighth consecutive year, Auriga—one of the leading software development outsourcing providers—made the Global Services 100 list of the best outsourcing companies.  

Citizen Diplomacy through Video Bridge over the Ocean
“Modern Tendencies of Regional Development in the USA and in Russia” was the theme of a videoconference on October 3 between Yaroslavl and three locations in the US, including Boston. The conference was part of the Days of American Culture in Yaroslavl Festival. 

Language Connections Aids MA Russian Speakers
Language Connections, a full service language provider, is often asked to translate and/or interpret in order to aid state programs. 

Language Connections Announces New Projects
This month, as is not unusual, Language Connections has a large number of projects requiring Russian interpreting services. Subscribe to the LanguageConnections Newsletter

Travel and Transport

   - Visas

Russia to Push for Visa-Free Regime Deal With EU in 2014
Russia wants to begin drafting a deal on visa-free travel with the EU early next year, a senior Russian diplomat said in an interview published Thursday.

Despite U.S.-Russia Tensions, Visa Deal Called a Success
The U.S.-Russia visa deal that took effect in September 2012 seems to be delivering much of what it promised for the two countries and their citizens: more visitors going each way and easier procedures for visa applicants.

Russia Signs Visa-Free Deal with South Korea
The visa agreement will allow citizens of either country to visit the other visa-free for up to 60 days at a time, and up to 90 days total over any six-month period.

Russia and Japan Streamline Visas
As of October 30, 2013, business visas between Russia and Japan will not require an invitation and may be issued for up to three years, among other reforms.

   - Rail Transport

Canadian Developer to Invest $2.6Bln in Russia's Rail Stations
Canada's Trinity Development announced Thursday plans to channel $2.5 billion over the next five years to retail, housing and office development projects at four rail stations in Russia, with more funds likely to flow in the segment if the investment bears fruit.

Russian Rails to Invest $37.8 Billion over Three Years
Medvedev said the ultimate goal was to remove infrastructure limitations which hinder economic growth, adding that the current capacity of the railway system 'is clearly inadequate for developing some of our regions and their deposits, for ensuring the full traffic capacity of our seaports, and for successful operation in foreign markets'.

Russian Rails Launches Double Decker Cars
Russia's new, swanky bi-level trains started their regular runs between Moscow and Adler, with the first double-decker having departed from the capital's Kazansky station with Sochi Olympic Games volunteers and vacationers with young children on board.

Russia to Connect to Europe with Broad Gauge Track
The tendering process is underway for a design contract for the proposed 1520mm-gauge line from Kosice, Slovakia, to Vienna that will extend Russian 1520mm-gauge infrastructure into the heart of Europe.

Russia Re-opens Railway Link with North Korea
Russia re-opened a railway link with North Korea on Sunday, holding out the prospect of increased trade for the reclusive nation with its biggest neighbors after years of international sanctions.

Russia to Connect to Iran via Rail
“We hope that this railway network will be completed soon and be utilized in order to help the two countries to make use of the advantages of connection of railways to each other,” the Azeri ambassador expressed.

Putin Urges Investors to Join Rail Projects
President Vladimir Putin on Monday invited investors from the Pacific Rim countries to take part in large Russian projects, such as the modernization of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, or Transsib, and the Baikal-Amur Mainline, or BAM, and improving the potential of the Northern Sea Route.

Russian Railways Seeks to Fix "Mistake" of Lost Monopoly
OAO Russian Railways is seeking to regain the right to manage rolling stock a decade after the government weakened its monopoly by opening the market to competitors, Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin said.

   - Air Transport

Tartar President's Son Among 50 Dead in Crash
Russian officials said on Monday that they have located flight recorders from a Boeing 737 that crashed in the city of Kazan over the weekend, killing all 50 people on board.

ˆ20 Billion Stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport
A plane full of euros is sitting at Sheremetyevo airport. As reported by a Moskovsky Komsomolets correspondent, the banknotes, which amount to around $27 billion, have been in the airport for six years, and no one can claim them.

Aeroflot Unveils Subsidiary Budget Airline
The budget subsidiary of the Russian airline Aeroflot is called Dobrolyot. The company’s value could reach $1.2-1.4 billion in four years, but only if airline regulations are changed.

Twelve Architects to Design Airport in Russia for 2018 World Cup
London-based Twelve Architects & Masterplanners have won a competition to deliver a radical new airport for Rostov, Russia, just in time for the 2018 World Cup.

Aeroexpress Informs of Possible Dfficulties on Sheremetyevo Route
Due to the construction of an overpass and a segment of a new highway connecting Moscow and St Petersburg, the road section from the Leningradskoye shosse to Sheremetyevo Airport will be closed.

VIP Lounge Opened at Pulkovo Airport (St. Petersburg)
Pulkovo Airport has launched a set of commercial services for the VIP-passengers under the “Service” Program. The VIP-lounge has an independent entrance and is located in the right part of the “Departure” zone at Pulkovo-2 Terminal. The lounge is intended for both departing and arriving passengers of the international flights.

   - Ports

Russian Cargo Flows through Baltic Ports Shrinking
Estonian logistics sector is preparing for more business cutbacks as, according to Russia’s ports’ development plan, in 2030 only 5% of Russian trade will go through port in Baltic countries, writes Äripäev.

Russia and Baltics Port Expansion Summit Approaches
The expansion and upgrade of Russian as well as Baltic ports will play a vital role in the future development and improved trade of the region.

South Korea to Back North Korean Port Project
In September Russia reopened a 54km rail link between its Siberian city of Khasan and the North Korean coastal city of Rajin, where it is supporting work to modernise the port.

   - Russian Cities 

In Russia, 30 Squats Will Get You a Subway Ticket
The idea is to get people active and amped for the Olympic games in February.

St. Petersburg Guide
A completely updated guide to long- and short-term stays in St. Petersburg.

A Guide to Jewish Moscow
Jewish life today in Russia is flourishing, and Moscow lies at the center of this renaissance. Check it out during your time here and be pleasantly surprised. Guide by SRAS graduate Jacob Kaufman.

Russian Parliament Introduces Fines for Smoking in Public
Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved the third and final reading of a bill toughening the country’s anti-smoking legislation by introducing fines for smoking in public and encouraging minors to smoke.

 

Never Too Many Books!

strategic_cooperation Strategic Cooperation: Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy

what every Russian knows What Every Russian Knows (and You Don't)

red nations Red Nations: The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR

Articles

Intern Abroad
in Russia!

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South Korea, Russia to Create $500 Million Joint Investment Fund
South Korea and Russia agreed Wednesday to create a $500 million joint fund with their sovereign wealth funds, aimed at increasing cross-border investments in various companies and projects.

BRICS Bank Closer to Reality
The grouping's members have to sort out internal differences in order to realize the bank idea by the time next summit takes place in Brazil in March 2014.

Software Development Outsourcing for Innovative Companies
What to keep in mind when considering outsourcing work on innovative software and hardware products.

National Housing Affordability Remains Elusive 
Despite reports of steadily increasing personal income, saving up to buy an apartment remains a major challenge for most Russians as housing here is the least affordable in Europe.

Could US Assets Seizure Lead To Expansion Of Magnitsky Blacklist?
A complaint filed by the US Department of Justice on September 10 seeks the seizure of the four Wall Street-area apartments as well as two commercial spaces.

Russia Moves Up, US Falls in World Economic Freedom Ranking
Russia has climbed 10 places since 1995 in a global ranking of economic freedom, while the United States has fallen 13 spots over the same period, according to a report from a Canadian public policy think-tank released Wednesday.

Opportunities for Entrepeneurs in Russia
Russia appears to be making giant efforts to boost entrepreneurial activity.

Russia Cuts Budget to Try to Spur Growth
The Russian government on Thursday approved across-the-board budget cuts over the next two years in the clearest sign yet that officials do not expect its economy, the world’s eighth-largest, to revive soon, and that the Kremlin is ready to try a new policy to spur growth.

Russia: Surprising on the Upside
David Gray of PwC Russia explains how business opportunities can often be undervalued by foreigners based on his own 19 years in Moscow.

Russia Becomes Top Shopping Mall Builder
Russia is ranked number one in Europe in terms of building retail space but still has a lower ratio of shopping malls to people, according to research by Cushman & Wakefield.

At Least 7 Judges Quit Supreme Arbitration Court
At least seven Supreme Arbitration Court justices have resigned after President Vladimir Putin this week submitted a bill to the State Duma that would merge the legal body into the Supreme Court.

Government Doesn't Know Who Owns 40% of Real Estate
The government does not know who owns about 40 percent of all real estate in Russia, creating a massive blind spot that could obstruct the Finance Ministry's proposal to bring in a tax on real estate, Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing the Federal Tax Service.

No Hope for Russia’s Hi-tech Sector?
Most Russians do not believe in Russia’s future as a leading hi-tech exporter, a Debate Night this week at Moscow’s Technopolis revealed.

Russian Government to Cull Federal Officials
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a cull of federal officials in the regions ahead of an upcoming three-year state budget crunch.

Russia to Set up Federal Copyright Service
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov chaired a meeting last week where it was decided that Russia would set up a Federal Copyright Service, Izvestia newspaper reported Monday.

Russian Internet Economy Expected to Grow 3-6%/yr Even Amid Global Crisis
Russia's Internet economy will continue to grow at a rate of 3-6% annually even if there is a global crisis, the head of the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC), Sergei Plugotarenko told reporters.

Over 500 Pardoned in Economic Amnesty
Over 500 people have been pardoned under the economic amnesty declared in July 2013 by the Russian State Duma, the office of Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov said.  

Activated nano-carbon as new shield against chemical poisoning
Moscow medical researchers have developed a next gen adsorbent for hemosorption—a procedure that saves lives after acute toxic exposure to medication or chemical poisons. Their innovative activated carbon, modified with electrochemically polymerized pyrrole, is believed to be completely biocompatible, spare red blood cells (unlike its conventional ‘predecessor’ that kills erythrocytes), and show a 25% increase in adsorption power. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Tomsk researchers offer intelligent medical devices
Scientists and spin-off companies of Tomsk State University (TSU) developed and are already making three new ‘smart’ medical instruments, all telemedicine compatible, that the developers claimed as far back as last year would enable noninvasive LED-based diagnostics of a range of human diseases and provide intelligent drip-feed and cardiopulmonary resuscitation control. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Russian Corner: Legal Status of Foreign Nationals
The article prepared by the specialists of Alinga Consulting Group covers many aspects of foreign citizens in Russia, such as legal status, procedures for obtaining a work permit and necessary documentation, insurance payments and review of the Convention on legal status of migrant workers. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Just for Fun: Modern Russian Film
SRAS has just expanded its page on modern Russian film. Now, you can find more info about the Russian film industry, a list of modern Russian classics available with subtitles on Amazon, a list of every top-5 box office grossing Russian film since 2010, and more! Subscribe to the SRAS Newsletter


USRCCNE

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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