Talks held with potential partner
Tesco is reported to be eyeing expansion into the Russian retail market, after meeting managers from the country's biggest supermarket chain, X5 Retail Group.

X5 owns the franchise to more than 1,200 food stores across Russia and the former Soviet Union. The retailer released a statement yesterday saying it would not rule out a commercial partnership with Tesco, but emphasised that it was not preparing to sell its business.

Russia's retail food market is forecast to expand by 16 per cent a year between now and 2010.

X5 is also in talks with Tesco's rivals Wal-Mart and Carrefour, according to reports.

UK high street chains Bhs, Marks & Spencer, Burberry, Monsoon and Mothercare are already present in the Russian retail market.