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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

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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