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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, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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