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Depardieu's Restaurant, Russia Bans Milkiland Imports: Business in Brief

Gerard Depardieu getting ready to embrace President Vladimir Putin, right.

Depardieu to Open Restaurant in Moscow

French actor Gerard Depardieu is planning to open a restaurant in Moscow in October that will simply be called "Gerard," Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Depardieu, who was granted Russian citizenship in January 2013 after complaining about France's plans to increase taxation on millionaires, already owns three restaurants in Paris, several vineyards, and bistros in Belgium, according to The Local news agency.

He told Komsomolskaya Pravda on Thursday that the planned Moscow restaurant would serve simple Russian and French dishes and that he also hopes to open eateries in St. Petersburg and Saransk, the capital city of the republic of Mordovia, where he resides. (MT)

Russia Bans Imports From Ukrainian Dairy Company

Russia has banned a series of cheese imports from a major Ukrainian dairy producer, citing issues with the fatty acid content of two of its cheeses and "microbial contamination" of its dairy products.

The ban concerns deliveries from 11 factories owned by Kiev-based company Milkiland-Ukraine, the Federal Consumer Protection Service said Friday in an online statement.

Russia has already blocked imports from two of Milkiland's other factories, the watchdog said, presumably also due to purported hygiene violations.

Moscow has on numerous occasions blocked imports of food products from countries with whom it is having political disputes. Last year, Russia barred chocolate made by Roshen, the Ukrainian company owned by the country's newly inaugurated president Petro Poroshenko, while bans on pork deliveries from the U.S. and the EU are also currently in place. 

Internet Purchases Worth $1.7Bln in Duties Through 2017

The Finance Ministry is planning to rake in 60 billion rubles ($1.7 billion) from duties on Russians' Internet purchases between 2015 and 2017, ITAR-Tass reported Sunday, citing a draft of the budget for those years.

In an effort to level the playing field for foreign and domestic Internet retailers, the ministry last month published a draft of a bill that could lower the limit on the value of personal purchases that can enter Russia customs-free from 1,000 euros ($1,360) to 150 euros ($204).

The bill also requires a customs duty on all goods that weigh in at more than 10 kilograms, down from the current limit of 31 kilograms. The customs duty in Russia stands at 30 percent of the value of the imported good.

Russia-based Internet retailers have felt aggrieved that the current threshold gives foreign retailers an unfair advantage, allowing them to slash prices below those offered by domestic retailers, who have to pay taxes and customs duties on the goods they import to Russia. (MT)

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