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Former Russian Official Acquires Controlling Stakes In Weapons Maker Kalashnikov

Deputy Defense Minister Aleksei Krivoruchko
Deputy Defense Minister Aleksei Krivoruchko

A former Russian deputy transport minister has acquired a controlling stake in weapons maker Kalashnikov.

Alan Lushnikov, who served as deputy transport minister between 2017 and 2018, has acquired a 75 percent stake minus one share in Kalashnikov via a firm called TKH-Invest.

Daily Kommersant quoted Lushnikov on November 6 as saying that he had bought TKH-Invest from Deputy Defense Minister Aleksei Krivoruchko, who was among the high-ranking Russian officials hit with European Union sanctions last month over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny.

State conglomerate Rostekh, which deals with defense and high-tech industries, owns the remaining 25 percent plus one share in Kalashnikov.

Neither Kalashnikov nor Lushnikov have disclosed the terms of the deal, but sources told Kommersant that he had paid some 1 billion rubles ($12.9 million). Kalashnikov is heavily indebted, sources told Kommersant.

Kalashnikov manufactures about 95 percent of Russia's guns, including the AK-47 assault rifles.

The weapons maker has been under U.S. sanctions since 2014, in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its support for pro-Russian separatists in the country's east.

With reporting by Kommersant and Reuters