From Expat Telegraph:

On July 1 2010, the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens will come into force in Russia.
The legislation aims to simplify the complicated rules which govern the hiring of foreign workers in the country, and make it easier for Russian companies to hire skilled expats.
Under previous rules, work permits for foreign workers were valid for a maximum of one year, and could take up to a year to obtain.
The legislation introduces a new term, “highly qualified foreign professional,” which applies to foreign citizens with key skills in a particular field, and whose salary in Russia will be at least two million rubles (around £43,000 per year).
Employers will be able to obtain work permits for these professionals for up to three years, which can be renewed on a three yearly basis if a contract is agreed upon by the parties.

Evgeny Reyzman, a legal counsel at law firm Baker and McKenzie in Moscow, said that the new legislation would have a positive effect on Russia’s economy. “Before, the system was very inflexible and burdensome. Companies had to seek permission to employ a foreign worker, which was very time consuming and costly.
“Now, not only will businesses be able to hire specialists more easily, but the amount of specialist workers that can move here will not be subject to any quotas. This will make investment in Russia much more attractive.
“Additionally, a working permit will automatically qualify skilled foreign workers for residency permits, which did not happen before.”

Does anybody know anything about this new law?

I have just received my new work permit, but I don't earn 43000 pounds. Can I apply for residency anyway, or is residency only for very highly paid professionals? Does this mean that poorer professionals/teachers will still be obliged to pay a large sum of money to get a place on the annual quota for temporary residency?