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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Maslyukov Appointed Chief Of New Arms Export Group

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov on Monday appointed First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov to head a powerful new state commission to oversee arms exports in a move that analysts said could trigger more reshuffles in Russia's arms exporting establishment.

The commission will exercise control over the arms industry's dealings overseas and it will have the final word on all arms exports, including sales by weapons giant Rosvooruzhenie. The group will also draw up guidelines for international defense technology deals.

Maslyukov, who already supervises the defense industry, has made no secret of his ambition to assume command of Russia's arms exports, so the appointment is a decisive victory for Maslyukov in his public battle against Rosvooruzhenie's general director, Yevgeny Ananyev.

The two have been trading barbs during the past few weeks. The first deputy prime minister has repeatedly accused Ananyev, whose company controls more than 80 percent of Russia's arms exports, of failing to maintain arms sales at a decent level. Maslyukov told the press this month that Rosvooruzhenie's top managers were working "inefficiently."

Rosvooruzhenie's top managers have responded by trumpeting what they see as an increase in orders.

Rosvooruzhenie saw a major shake-up last year, and analysts predicted that more could be in store under Maslyukov's new-found authority.

In August 1997, President Boris Yeltsin ordered Ananyev to replace Alexander Kotyolkin as head of Rosvooruzhenie, only to see Russia's share in the world arms exports market fall from 17 percent to 14 percent, according to a report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute last June.

More reshuffles will not be too "pernicious" for arms exports if it is limited to the very top of Rosvooruzhenie's management, said Konstantin Mak-ienko, deputy head of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.