Russia Inc. The Finance Ministry announced that the budget deficit in 2009 was 2.3 trillion Rubles (US$78 billion – about 25% less than anticipated); GDP declined nearly 8%; the Reserve Fund holds about US$60 billion and the National Welfare Fund about US$95 billion. The IMF has raised its estimate for Russia’s GDP growth in 2010 to 4.25% from 4% and estimates that inflation will be 6%. Rumours of Russia’s economic death have been exaggerated: indeed these numbers look rather better than the IMF’s estimates for either the Euro Area or the USA. Medvedev’s calls for Russia to be treated as a major player in the world financial system don’t look so implausible today.