Russian Technologies on the way to becoming super-corporation

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti economic commentator Oleg Mityayev) - It was announced on June 20 that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had signed a resolution transferring Russia's only authorized arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, to Russian Technologies corporation.

The government also coordinated a draft presidential decree on transferring state-held shares in 480 other enterprises to the corporation.

Russian Technologies is growing into an industrial behemoth with assets in many sectors, from defense to automotive to civil aviation.

The corporation was conceived in November 2007, when President Putin signed a decree for its establishment. Initially, Russian Technologies was to incorporate approximately 250 federally owned companies and predominantly state-owned joint-stock ventures in the defense sector.

Apart from Rosoboronexport, the corporation was to include Oboronprom (helicopter manufacturing), Defense Systems (air-defense and electronic equipment), Oboronpromleasing (leasing), Russia's largest carmaker AvtoVAZ, titanium producer VSMPO-Avisma, RusSpetsStal (special steels for the defense industry), High Technologies R (creation and use of databases and information resources), the Industrial Energy Company (electricity and gas supplies to defense enterprises), and R.E.T. Kronshtadt (flight & sea simulators, navigation systems & equipment).

But this has not sated the appetite of Sergei Chemezov, head of Russian Technologies. It is rumored that this latest list of assets to be handed over to the corporation had swelled to 600 companies, but the Finance Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry clipped it to 480 companies.

The first asset transferred to Russian Technologies in late May 2008 was the state-held stake in the air alliance, AiRUnion. Chemezov has proposed that several other civilian carriers be turned over to the corporation. This would cut the number of civilian air carriers to two companies, both of them state controlled, Aeroflot and the group of companies incorporated in Russian Technologies.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stepped in at the last minute, saying in early June that Russian Technologies was trying to divert part of the federal budget's revenue and furtively privatize the federal property transferred to it.

The final list of state-controlled assets to be incorporated into Russian Technologies has not been revealed, but the transfer of Rosoboronexport to the corporation was an unfortunate development for the opponents of the super-corporation.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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