Articles by Natalya Kostenko



White-Collar Crime Punishment Softened

Changes to the Criminal Code will enable white-collar criminals to buy their way out of trouble. The cost: five times the amount of damages inflicted, capped at 15 million rubles ($535,000), from each convicted person, paid to the federal budget.

Legislators Moving to Rossiya Site

A parliamentary center will be built on the site near the Kremlin where the Rossiya Hotel once stood.

Lisin Replaces Bogdanchikov for Olympics

Vladimir Lisin replaced Sergei Bogdanchikov as vice president of the country's Olympic Committee on Wednesday, in line with the committee's hopes that the wealthy Lisin will be able to raise the funds needed to restore the team to its former glory.

Gruzdev Family Exiting Sedmoi Kontinent

State Duma Deputy Vladimir Gruzdev's family foundation will sell its share of food retailer Sedmoi Kontinent to entrepreneur Alexander Zanadvorov, booking a profit on the investment and freeing up funds to build affordable housing in the Moscow region.

Transneft, Summa Capital to Buy Novorossiisk

Transneft and Ziyavudin Magomedov's investment group Summa Capital are purchasing a controlling stake in Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port, giving the partners control of almost all crude loaded for export from European Russia.

Anti-Corruption Efforts: Words, Not Deeds

Analysts at the Justice Ministry have reviewed official statistics and concluded that there has been no improvement in the battle against corruption. The actual number of corrupt officials exposed and punished has not increased over the last three years, though the topic is much more frequently in the news.

Sistema to Tap Rakhimov for BashneftТs Board

Murtaza Rakhimov, who recently resigned his post of president of Bashkortostan, will help holding company Sistema manage oil-producer Bashneft as part of the oil company's board of directors, three sources told Vedomosti.

Chaika Goes After Baturina Land

Moscow prosecutors are pushing City Hall to cancel an order that allowed Yelena Baturina's Inteko to acquire 55 hectares of land. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has written a complaint letter to President Dmitry Medvedev.

Bidders Line Up for Skolkovo City Plan

Well-known firms are competing for the right to design the innovation city in Skolkovo, including several that are working on the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok.

New Cars to Be Freed From Inspection

The government has proposed eliminating mandatory inspections for new cars, a formality that experts say should have been eliminated long ago.

Presidential Affairs Official Investigated

The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into Vladimir Leshchevsky, a senior official in the Office for Presidential Affairs accused of receiving bribes in exchange for Olympics work.

State May Fold Gambler's Azov-City for Anapa

The Russian authorities have essentially given up on their plan to move all gambling to four remote zones, and Azov-City, the only one now functioning, might be eliminated in favor of Black Sea resort Anapa, Vedomosti has learned.

Murov to Remain on Guard to 2012

President Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order to keep Yevgeny Murov as head of the Federal Guard Service, or FSO, until 2012, even though the general will reach the maximum age for military personnel later this year.

Poll: Modernization is About Politics, Not Technology

Citizens think of modernization not so much as a technological agenda as much as a political program, according to a survey of 1,600 Russians.

Mining Magnate Behind 2 Building Projects

An unexpected investor turned out to be behind the demolished Hotel Rossiya next to the Kremlin, as well as the unfinished Russia Tower in Moskva-City Ч Viktor Rashnikov, owner of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works.

Russia Falling Short of Anti-Corruption Plan

Russia has completed fewer than half of the Council of Europe's recommendations on fighting corruption, a Vedomosti review found. The Prosecutor General's Office contended that some proposals couldn't be fulfilled, while others are still under way.

Abramovich Is Skolkovo's Biggest Neighbor

State authorities may seek to expand Skolkovo, the innovation city, onto private land that belongs to billionaire Roman Abramovich and other individuals and companies. But they weren't aware of that possibility when contacted by Vedomosti.

Like Yandex, Only Bigger

The state has not yet allocated funds to create a new Internet search engine, but people are already lining up to get their hands on the possible startup budget of $100 million.

RusAl Wants More State Money

United Company RusAl has requested 1.4 billion rubles ($45 million) from the government for the development of two innovation projects, and a commission has given preliminary approval to the projects, Vedomosti reported.

Dvorkovich Sees 'Cloud Computing' in Skolkovo

The state's commission on innovation has approved the first project for the Skolkovo innovation city, a 900 million ruble business incubator to develop "cloud computing" and other technologies.

'Technopolis' Gets Another $3.5Bln

The 4 billion rubles originally earmarked for the so-called innovation city in Skolkovo was just the beginning. Another 110.5 billion rubles ($3.5 billion) has been set aside for the project.

Press Ministry Requests $17M for 1C's Patriotic Computer Game

Software company 1C is asking the state for 500 million rubles ($16.8 million) to create a computer game simulator that will educate youth in patriotism, modernize the economy and rebuff those trying to falsify history. The Communications and Press Ministry and 1C have jointly prepared a proposal.

Vekselberg Discusses Future Skolkovo Infrastructure

Viktor Vekselberg, who President Dmitry Medvedev assigned to run the innovation city in Skolkovo, says the proposed "innograd" will have its own legal regime, police force and unique tax regime.

Unprecedented Perks in Store for Skolkovo Investors

President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the government to develop by the end of May a special legal regime for the innovation city in Skolkovo that would stimulate investment, including tax holidays of up to 10 years and special privileges in state tenders.

Kremlin Prepares to Unveil Its Silicon Valley

In 10 days, President Dmitry Medvedev will indicate where the future Russian Silicon Valley will be created, and one of the early favorites is the area near the business school Skolkovo.

AvtoVAZ Offers Military Staff Cheap Motor Loans

The Defense Ministry will help AvtoVAZ increase its sales by compensating military officers for their down payment on a Lada 4x4.

Bill Would Prevent Arrest of Execs for Economic Crimes

The presidential administration has drafted a bill that would prevent executives from being arrested for the majority of economic crimes, and while the business community is welcoming the changes, it says the reforms don't go far enough.

Proposal to Integrate National Payment System With Cell Phones

Cell phone companies could share subscriber data with banks to operate mobile-based payment systems if President Dmitry Medvedev is won over by a proposal from Mikhail Fridman of Alfa Group.

Medvedev to Meet Industry Chiefs in Modernization Drive

President Dmitry Medvedev will hold the next meeting of his commission to modernize the economy Feb. 11 in Tomsk, this time with owners of some of the country's largest companies.

Zubkov Victorious on Trade Bill Feud

In the new version of the bill on trade, the provisions on limiting fees and boundaries for expanding retail chains have remained unchanged.