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VTB, Smoking Ban, Space Program: Business in Brief

Published: July 1, 2014 (Issue # 1817)



  • VTB has decided against dropping U.S. citizens as clients.
    Photo: For SPT

VTB to Maintain U.S. Clients

VTB president Mikhail Zadornov told Interfax that the Russian bank will not stop servicing its U.S. clientele, contrary to an announcement last month that VTB planned to "phase out" U.S clients.

Moreover, VTB remains open to potential U.S. accountholders, he said.

The bank's earlier decision to abandon U.S. clients was an attempt to avoid running afoul of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act — legislation requiring the bank to provide information on American accountholders to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, which would have been in violation of Russian law.

However, President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a law allowing Russian banks to comply with FATCA.

VTB24 has already registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and will transfer information to the IRS accordingly, Zadornov said. (SPT)

Smoking Ban Strikes Terraces

Russia's state consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, has banned smoking on summer terraces at restaurants and cafes, a press release said.

The ban will crack down on smoking in outdoor seating — which has been the favorite, albeit seasonal, workaround for venues unhappy with the ban on indoor smoking that went into effect on June 1.

The press release specifies that the smoking ban applies to any artificially constructed area where customers are seated and served — including porches, tents, terraces and balconies.

Rospotrebnadzor collected more than $500,000 in smoking fines between January and March this year, the agency said last month in a press release. (SPT)

Krikalyov to Head Manned Space Program

Former cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov, who recently left his post as head of the Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, is to head up a new manned space program for the Federal Space Agency after returning from vacation, Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko said on Monday.

Earlier it was reported that Krikalyov would take up a position with the Central Research Institute for Machine Building, or TsNIIMash, and potentially worked in Moscow Mission Control.

Krikalyov is a living legend, having racked up a total of 803 days in space over the course of six flights — an absolute world record for time spent in orbit. During that time he conducted eight space walks.

Krikalyov became the head of the Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in 2009 and left the position in March after his contract with Roscosmos expired. (SPT)





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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