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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Says He Sacked CD Pirates

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov acknowledged Tuesday that some of the country's defense plants were still making counterfeit products this year.

Then-U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow created a stir in 2002 when he said defense plants were being used to produce pirated music, software and movies. Later that year, authorities seized more than 250,000 pirated CDs, DVDs and videos in raids at three military installations in Moscow, the Moscow region and Yekaterinburg.

Ivanov said Tuesday that authorities had found six plants involved in counterfeiting over the past six months alone, adding that high security at those plants made it easier for them to avoid checks.

"Arms manufacturing plants are guarded by Interior Ministry troops and surrounded by barbed-wire perimeter fences, so it's very easy for them to make money on the side," Ivanov said, Itar-Tass reported. "Six such cases were exposed in Russia over the past six months."

He said he had fired the directors of all six plants, without saying what counterfeit products the plants were making.

Intellectual property violations have been a key stumbling block in World Trade Organization talks with the United States.

Ivanov insisted that the scope of piracy was far smaller than in China, and accused some East European countries of abusing Russian copyrights by manufacturing Soviet-designed weapons without the proper licenses.

(AP, MT)