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MOSCOW, February 7 (RIA Novosti) – Mobile retailer Svyaznoy plans to launch Apple Premium Reseller mono-brand stores in ten Russian cities, TelecomDaily analyst Denis Kuskov, who is familiar with the company’s plans, said on Thursday.
Svyaznoy intends to open the first Apple stores in Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk and other cities with a population of over 1 million. The first store is set to open on February 15 in Novosibirsk, a retail market source told RIA Novosti.
According to Kuskov, Svyaznoy had agreed with Apple on direct supplies of the entire range of Apple products.
“The Apple Premium Reseller status awarded to the company, the opening of mono-brand stores and an agreement on direct supplies will possibly allow Svyaznoy to influence Apple, while Apple’s new products will appear in Svyaznoy without delay,” Kuskov said.
Svyaznoy CEO Denis Lyudkovsky told RIA Novosti the company was bound by an agreement with Apple and could not comment on its plans of building a mono-brand network without Apple’s consent.
Lyudkovsky said, however, that the company would soon launch a new mono-brand project.
Apple’s representatives in Russia declined to comment.
Svyaznoy became the largest distributor of Apple’s products in Russia in 2012, selling gadgets worth 4.9 billion rubles ($160 million), Lyudkovsky said.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.