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Rosoboronexport files lawsuit against Kommersant

MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport has taken legal action against Kommersant, a leading Russian business daily, over comments made by Finansgroup CEO Oleg Shvartsman in a November interview.

"The lawsuit has been filed with the Moscow Arbitration Court," a Rosoboronexport spokesman said.

The court earlier said the lawsuit was registered December 28 and that a date for the preliminary hearing has not been set yet, also declining to give a figure for the claim.

In an interview with Shvartsman, which Kommersant published November 30, the head of financial-industrial group Finansgroup talked about plans to establish a so called Social Initiative state corporation, which would allegedly be engaged in "velvet reprivatizations" on behalf of Rosoboronexport and other companies.

The reprivatization concerns acquiring or taking over enterprises, which are experiencing problems.

Later Shvartsman said the newspaper distorted his comments, but Kommersant said it has an authenticated copy of the interview.

After the interview, Rosoboronexport said they had never had any links with Finansgroup or given Shvartsman any instructions to act on their behalf.

Kommersant's editor-in-chief said he has not seen any documentation concerning a libel claim. Kommersant's last issue of 2007 was published Friday.

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