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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Looking Back ... Jan. 31 to Feb. 7

- The week opened with McDonald's Russia celebrating the 10th anniversary of the opening of its highly successful first Pushkin Square site. Including that restaurant, still the busiest Golden Arches in the world, the fast-food giant has 52 outlets in Russia and plans to add seven more this year.

- Hilton Hotels announced plans to open a five-star facility in the already crowded hotel area near Teatralnaya. The Hilton Bolshoi on Neglinnaya Ulitsa will be a block away from the theater of the same name and even closer to two existing plush hotels, the Metropol and the Savoy.

- Moscow firm Comcor announced a joint project with Western partners to build a $350 million cable television and Internet supply network.

- U.S. investors took control of the disputed Lomonosov factory in St. Petersburg. A court hearing set for Feb. 17 could turf them out again.

- LUKoil announced stellar profits of $1.3 billion, thanks to high world oil prices and the firm's own cost-cutting program in 1998 and early 1999.

- Acting President Vladimir Putin tapped yet another fellow St. Petersburger when he asked that city's Deputy Finance Committee Chief Igor Kostikov to head the Federal Securities Commission.

- Gazprom ceremoniously launched construction of its ambitious Blue Stream gas pipeline to Turkey when the two first sections were welded together Thursday in Krasnodar.

- Speculation grew that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would bow to the temptations of windfall profits and strong Western pressure and ease production cuts. An oil slump could cost Russia $6 billion.

- Former front-runner Yevgeny Primakov lead a pack of political heavyweights rushing to pull out of a presidential race in which all agree only acting President Putin can win. Also dropping out were Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who said he would not oppose Putin, and Viktor Chernomyrdin, who said he would support Putin.