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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Commodity exchanges: Going, going, gone?

More rapidly than might be imagined from the headlines or projected from the economic data, Russia is surging past the bizarre-bazaar stage of postcommunist development towards more stable forms of capitalism. It can be seen in the streets where, in recent months, the kiosk chaos has started to acquire some order, as ""ma-and-pa"" shops give way to expanding retail organizations. The jumble-store inventory hasn't changed much yet. But that depends on supply lines and wholesale sector development. That too appears set for major growth. Paradoxically, this can be detected from the sudden and dramatic decline of Russian capitalism's most successful institutions thus far, the commodity exchanges. Trading volumes have been declining all year, since January's price reform. In a word, they are dying.

South Africa. Russia talk trade

South Africa's deputy minister of trade and industry, David Graaf, was in Moscow to meet with Russian officials and launch a week-long exhibition of South African companies. Graaf met this week with the Russian minister of foreign economic relations, Pyotr Aven, and the deputy minister with responsibility for African affairs, Vladimir Rabotyazhev. South African officials say that ""no concrete steps"" were decided at their meetings. An agreement on trade has been drafted, the officials said, but it has not yet been signed. The trade talks follow the visit on June 1-2 of South Africa's president, Frederic de Klerk, who agreed to provide government-backed trade credits worth $50 million. The South Africans say they are waiting for the Russian government to decide which bank it will designate to guarantee repayment of the credits and manage the credit program.

Write it up in Russian on an Aibiyemovsky

As the high-tech consumer age descends on the capital, Muscovites are trying hard to keep up with all the new terminology. Luckily for Russians, their language absorbs new words relatively easily. Unfortunately for students of Russian, it isn't always easy to follow the logic. Some nouns are clear enough, like faks and modem , which are close enough in morphology to Russian words that they can be imported wholesale into the language. Other borrowed words, especially abbreviated nouns or initials acquire a Russian suffix, such as ekstishka (XT computer) and eitishka (AT). This is also the case with esska , emka and elka - the Russian words for ""S"", ""M"", and ""L"", the sizes written on the tags of Western clothing on sale at kiosks and commercial shops. Foreign brand names have also filtered into the new consumer language, to the delight of marketing managers: consider the adjectives Aibiyemovsky (refers to IBM products) and Makin-toshovsky (refers to Macintosh). There is, of course, a historical precedent.
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