MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the creation of a state-run corporation to oversee the country's high-tech industries — the latest Kremlin effort to overhaul strategic sectors that have foundered since the Soviet collapse.
Putin's decree, released by the Kremlin, appointed Sergei Chemezov as the head of Rostekhnologia, a holding company that would oversee production and exports of high-tech industrial products.
Chemezov is a close ally of Putin and member of his inner circle. He headed the state-run arms monopoly Rosoboronexport.
Russian media have reported that Chemezov long has lobbied for the creation of the new corporation, which will absorb Rosoboronexport and other companies that were not immediately identified.
In his decree, Putin also appointed Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov chairman of its monitoring council.
In recent months, the government has set up several supra-industrial state corporations aiming to consolidate efforts to rebuild sectors deemed crucial to the country's economy.
An aircraft-manufacturing corporation bringing together the country's major builders has been set up. And similar corporations now oversee the country's shipbuilding, aerospace and atomic energy-related industries.
Critics of the plans have warned that the state corporations will be inefficient, untransparent behemoths that will only encourage corruption.