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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Novotel opening spotlights hotel's dilemma

A brass band, scrumptious food and a smattering of dignitaries including the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church marked the grand opening of Hotel Novotel Sheremetyevo-2 Thursday. The $21 million four-star Novotel Sheremetyevo-2, is one of Moscow most affordable hotels that meets Western standards. But in many ways, the opening served to highlight the difficulty the hotel faces in proving that in Moscow there is a market for an airport hotel. ""At this stage, their location is a problem"", said Andrew Ivanyi, general manager of the Aerostar, a Canadian joint venture hotel. ""Five-hundred rooms is a lot to have near the airport. There's a market for transit passengers, but for the business traveler and tourist, the only attraction is the rate"". So far, occupancy figures support Ivanyils view. Novotel's current occupancy rate of just 20 percent.

Science center aims to plug brain drain

An international foundation aimed at plugging the brain drain of former Soviet nuclear scientists is slated to open in the Moscow region and Ukraine sometime next month. The International Science and Technology Center will dole out funds culled from the United States, the European Community and Japan to former Soviet scientists and engineers who might now be tempted to sell their military expertise elsewhere. ""The primary objective is to minimize the potential for proliferation"", Robert Gallucci, senior coordinator for scientists in the former Soviet Union for the deputy secretary of state, was quoted as saying in an American governmental report. The centers will serve as a clearing-house for developing, approving, financing and monitoring proposals that channel weapons scientists and engineers talents toward nuclear safety and, environmental cleanup. This will not be a mega-science park'', said one American official who asked not to be named.
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