Before the Russian parliament went on summer vacation, it passed what is possibly the most odious series of bills in the history of the country's lawmaking. The legislation sets the tone for President Vladimir Putin's current term in power, due to end in 2018. The message is clear: If you are not with Putin, keep it to yourself.
Russia may pass a law on the retail trade this month if lawmakers and government officials complete the bill within the next 10 days, according to Arkady Dvorkovich, President Dmitry Medvedev’s top economic adviser.
Cigarette makers including Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc are fighting a last-ditch battle against a smoking crackdown in Russia, with three weeks left to change the government’s mind.