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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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