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MOSCOW – Mikhail Khodorkovsky has all the time in the world to practice his limbo technique. Remember the limbo? that exotic competition on the nightclub floor when Caribbean dancers would try to outdo each other as they swayed under the limbo bar to choruses of “Limbo! Limbo! How lowww can you gohhhh!” This week, Khodorkovsky [...]

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MOSCOW – Either way you look at it, Norilsk Nickel’s decision to spend $1.16 billion to buy 20 percent of the South African goldminer Gold Fields, much of it in borrowed funds, is a wager on President Vladimir Putin having too much to do right now to notice. If Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, the [...]

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MOSCOW (Mineweb.com) – There is a popular, if bawdy Russian anecdote about an over-confident rabbit in a village, on a fine day…. One morning the little fellow wakes up, stretches, and as was his custom in good weather, he goes outside his front-door to scratch his private parts. When he reaches into his pants, however, [...]

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If Anatoly Chubais ever had scruples, or reluctance at setting them aside, he has understood the lesson offered by that arch-plotter, the Marquise de Merquise in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the pre-revolutionary French classic, who advised: “the best way of overcoming scruples is to leave those who have them with nothing more to lose.” In Chubais’s [...]

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MOSCOW – Despite a threat to take “strategic and tactical steps” against Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus, Moscow entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov is bluffing, and not for the first time. Usmanov made his threat in a report appearing in the March 16 issue of the Financial Times, which was characteristically impressed by the Russian bravado, and just as [...]

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JOHANNESBURG (Mineweb.com) — Russian steelmakers are super-sensitive about this year’s European Union (EU) quota on imports of Russian steel, and for two good reasons. One is that Russian government policy may be about to change, dramatically. The other is that more than four months of negotiations between trade officials on both sides have failed to [...]