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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alyoshin Gets Defense Agency

Boris Alyoshin, who lost his post as deputy prime minister in the outgoing Cabinet, has still found a place in the new government as head of the Federal Agency of Industry.

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said that Alyoshin will direct the new agency, which will be placed under the Energy and Industry Ministry.

"[The agency] will bundle defense agencies and enterprises of various industrial sectors," Fradkov said at a news conference Wednesday. He did not elaborate.

The defense industry generated a revenue of over $5.7 billion last year.

Earlier in the day Interfax quoted an unidentified source as saying that this new body will combine the functions of four defense agencies -- conventional arms, shipbuilding, control systems and ammunition -- with the aviation sector, which will be spun off from Rosaviakosmos, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency.

"We haven't seen any documents yet, but we have a strong feeling that aviation will have to go," said Rosaviakosmos spokesman Sergei Gorbunov. He said that Rosaviakosmos will now be called the Federal Space Agency, or FKA.

Rosaviakosmos assumed regulatory functions over the aviation industry in 1999. At the time, Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov created four other agencies to oversee the defense industry.

Alyoshin spent years researching and developing software for warplane avionics before joining the government in 2000. He was appointed deputy prime minister last April.

Alyoshin began revising defense industry reforms initiated by his predecessor Klebanov, championing the idea of creating a unified aircraft corporation that would merge Sukhoi, MiG, Irkut, Tupolev and Ilyushin.

He announced on several occasions that the defense agencies created by Klebanov would be disbanded.

"That would be a good change after Klebanov's agencies, which controlled everything but were not held responsible for their decisions," one defense company executive said.

"Alyoshin developed innovative ideas for the reorganization and consolidation of the aviation industry," said Richard Brody, president of United Technologies Corp. Russia. "We hope that he will continue his work on these issues in the new government."

Anatoly Dolgolaptev, chairman of the League of Assistance to Defense Companies, was less upbeat.

"Alyoshin does not set policy, the economic arm does," he said. "And here we have the same people which have demonstrated the same dismissive attitude [as the previous government]."