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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Duma Adopts Budget


The State Duma approved the countrys first post-Soviet balanced budget in a fourth and final reading Thursday, completing a remarkably smooth passage through the lower house of parliament.

The 2001 draft sailed through the chamber in just over two months with none of the bitter wrangling that has marked debates in previous years, keeping on track the governments plans to have the budget in place by the start of the year.

In a vote that underscored the ability of the government to push key legislation through the Duma, the document was passed 308-108 with no abstentions.

It still has to be approved by the Federation Council, the upper house, and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

Ford Production Date

The Moscow Times

Ford Vsevolzhsk plans to launch local production of its Ford automobiles next November, Interfax reported Allan Batty, head of Ford Motor Co.s Russian office, as saying Thursday.

The setting up of equipment on the premises of the Russky Diesel state enterprise, located in Vsevolzhsk in the Leningrad region, is due to be completed in July 2001 and in September the first 10 Ford Focuses will roll off production lines, Batty said.

At the initial stage output is planned at up to 5,000 vehicles per year and in the future this number will be increased to 23,000 to 30,000 annually.

Ford has invested $150 million in Ford Vsevolzhsk.

Reserves Rise $100M

The Moscow Times

The nations gold reserves and hard-currency reserves rose by $100 million to a record $27.6 billion for the week ending Dec. 8, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The banks reserves have been rising steadily throughout 2000, thanks in part to national earnings from high oil prices.

Cuban Sugar, Oil Deals


Russias government has outlined a list of recommended annual trading volumes with Cuba for 2001-05, including 2.2 million to 2.8 million tons of raw sugar imports and 1.5 million to 2 million tons of crude oil exports.

A press release, published on the governments web site ( ahead of a visit to Cuba this week by President Vladimir Putin, said a protocol on trade turnover had been approved by the Russian and Cuban governments.

PM for Grain Reform


Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov called Wednesday for the government to introduce effective market mechanisms in agriculture that could help the country regain its former role as a grain exporter.

Kasyanov told a government meeting that Russia had harvested about 65 million tons of grain by clean weight so far this year, up from 54.7 million last year, but he said the trend was not sustainable in the absence of reforms.

Russia has been a significant importer of grain since Soviet days. Harvests, when not reduced by poor weather, have been hit regularly by shortages of equipment, fertilizer or fuel.

The government plans to bring order to the countrys grain market by creating efficient exchanges and introducing a mechanism to keep prices stable.