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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nabiullina Challenges Chemezov's Asset List

Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina has set herself square in the path of Russian Technologies chief Sergei Chemezov's push for the state corporation to gobble up government stakes in more than 500 companies, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Set up last year on the basis of state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Russian Technologies was intended to boost the country's flagging heavy-industry sector. Since then, it has been seeking to have an ever-growing range of state stakes included in its startup capital.

At a meeting to discuss the issue last week, Nabiullina demanded that Chemezov justify why the state corporation needs interests in so many apparently unconnected sectors, Kommersant reported Thursday, citing a source in the office of First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who chaired the meeting.

A spokesman for Ivanov refused to comment Thursday.

Nabiullina is seeking to block Russian Technologies' plans to take stakes in a number of passenger airlines and 37.8 percent in truck maker KamAZ. The ministry would prefer to see companies that operate in competitive sectors privatized, Kommersant reported.

The ministry did not respond to written questions on the subject Thursday. A Russian Technologies spokesman refused to comment, saying the initial report had not been sufficiently verified.

The standoff between Nabiullina and Chemezov could slow the final formation of Russian Technologies. Chemezov has said he wants the corporation to be established definitively by the end of April.

And Nabiullina is not alone in her opposition to Russian Technologies' expansion.

The Military-Industrial Committee, led by Ivanov, came up with its own plans for the sector after the military became concerned that Russian Technologies could end up controlling the bulk of the country's defense industry.

The idea of state corporations has drawn opposition from liberal economists close to the government, including Nabiullina's predecessor and current Sberbank head, German Gref.

n Russian Technologies must explain what it will do with some of the 300 companies it plans to absorb, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

"We have to approach the transfer of certain civilian assets very cautiously," Khristenko said. "There are risks connected with upsetting the competitive environment."