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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moskhimpharmpreparaty Boss Tapped

In a face-saving move, the government moved Wednesday to bring a partial resolution to the standoff at the Moskhimpharmpreparaty pharmaceuticals factory in downtown Moscow, where workers clashed with private bodyguards last week.

Backing away from its attempt to install Anton Parkansky as director at the factory, the Economics Ministry has nominated Mikhail Grigoriev as new director, and promised to keep popular veteran Vladimir Fyodorov as his first deputy at the factory.

However, it also persuaded the State Duma to vote down a resolution urging public authorities to bring clarity into the issue and "take measures to keep the property of the factory in the hands of the government."

The proposal was forwarded by the Russian Regions and supported by the Communists, but was voted down by Unity, the Union of Right Forces and other pro-government factions.

"It became a political issue after Gennady Zyuganov visited the factory Friday, criticizing the government," said Sergei Reshulskiy, coordinator for the Communist faction in the Duma.

The Communists and the Russian Regions needed only about 30 more votes to push the resolution through.

Police and some 100 workers last Friday blocked Parkansky and 25 private security guards when they tried to take control of the plant.

Moskhimpharpreparaty is a wholly state-owned company - the largest non-privatized pharmaceutical plant left in Russia - that produces more than 240 different kinds of medicines.

It is a major supplier of medicines for the Defense Ministry, and it is by most accounts financially healthy.

Fyodorov's contract expired on Jan. 31, and the government opted not to renew it. Workers say that a representative of the Economics Ministry, which acts for the government in supervising their company, told them the ministry preferred to find someone "younger" - the 31-year-old Parkansky, who until recently was the deputy director of the private pharmaceutical holding Vremya.