Russia Decides Not To Imprison Blogger Alexei Navalny

Russia to Double IT Exports to $11 Billion to Cut Oil Dependence

Post to Facebook Russia decides not to imprison blogger Alexei Navalny on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/1gjKGJh Incorrect please try again A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. Join the Nation’s Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Russia decides not to imprison blogger Alexei Navalny Associated Press 5:36 a.m. EDT October 16, 2013 Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny speaks in a court room after the hearing of his case in a court in the provincial northern city of Kirov, on Oct. 16, 2013. (Photo: Vasily Maximov, AFP/Getty Images) Story Highlights Navalny was convicted on embezzlement charges Suspended sentence instead of five years in prison Alexei Navalny is an anti-corruption blogger SHARE 2 CONNECT 32 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE KIROV, Russia (AP) A Russian court has overturned a sentence for opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, handing him a suspended sentence instead of five years in prison. Navalny was convicted on embezzlement charges and sentenced to five years in prison on July 18, but was released from prison the next day in what some considered a ploy to make the Moscow mayoral race, where he was registered as a candidate, look as competitive as possible. Navalny garnered an unexpected 27 percent against the Kremlin-backed incumbent. His growing public profile has made it increasingly risky for the Kremlin to put him behind bars. A judge in the court in Kirov, 460 miles east of Moscow, read out the decision on Wednesday. USA NOW

Russia: Court decides not to imprison Navalny

Russian IT exports are approaching $5 billion this year, Deputy Minister Mark Shmulevich said in an interview in Moscow. Its a meaningful figure, compared with the countrys arms export of about $15 billion, he said. It shows that Russia has competitive IT products to offer. Russia plans to help its domestic IT companies compete with global technology companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , which are expanding in the country, the strategy shows. Search engine Yandex NV (YNDX) and social-networks operator Mail.ru Group Ltd. (MAIL) already dominate the Russian market, beating foreign rivals. Russia has several Internet giants which are mid-sized companies on the global scale, while other market participants are much smaller, Shmulevich said. Thats why for a breakthrough technology startup its often easier to find investors abroad. We plan to change this. The Telecommunications Ministry will support joint projects by Russian scientific institutes and local IT companies to develop technologies such as speech and video-image recognition, robotics, cyber-security and cloud services, the strategy shows. We realize that IT is a global industry, and we dont plan to ban anything foreign, Shmulevich said. Instead, we plan to support domestic companies with state orders for R&D, loans and other market mechanisms to let them develop and gain international success. Besides publicly traded Yandex and Mail.ru, the Ministry names Kaspersky Lab, ABBYY , Dr.Web, 1C and Positive Technologies as examples of Russian IT companies which have gained recognition abroad. To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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His growing public profile has made it increasingly risky for the Kremlin to put him behind bars. Regardless of his own inability to hold office, Navalny, a charismatic speaker with a popular blog, could still prove a vital political force in Russia. He has vowed to wage an active campaign, even if not a candidate himself, in elections for the Moscow city government in September 2014. His run for Moscow mayor attracted thousands of young volunteers in an unprecedented grassroots campaign effort, and that network could prove a key organizing force in the 2014 race. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, second right, his wife Yulia, and his former colleague Pyo On Wednesday, a judge in the court in Kirov, 760 kilometers (460 miles) east of Moscow, read out the decision. According to current Russian law, even a suspended sentence would eliminate Navalny from political office for life. Navalny lambasted the trial, saying the original sentence had been handed down “on instructions from Moscow” and that the “political motivation of this case is absolutely clear.” The charges against Navalny date back a few years to when he worked as an unpaid adviser to the provincial governor in Kirov. Prosecutors said he was part of a group that in 2009 embezzled 16 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from the state-owned company Kirovles. He has denied the charges. The defense said that a company run by Pyotr Ofitserov Navalny’s co-defendant who was also given a suspended sentence of five years as well in the appeal bought the timber for 14 million rubles and sold it for 16 million rubles in a regular commercial deal. Navalny, who spent much of the court session tweeting, was characteristically sarcastic and upbeat.