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90% of Kalashnikov rifles on world market knockoffs-Izhmash CEO

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Russia accounts for only 10-12% of about 1 million Kalashnikov assault rifles that are sold on the world market every year, the CEO of the Izhmash concern said Saturday.

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia accounts for only 10-12% of about 1 million Kalashnikov assault rifles that are sold on the world market every year, the CEO of the Izhmash concern said Saturday.

"The rest are unlicensed copies," Vladimir Grodetsky said, adding that there was not a single license agreement conforming to the norms of international law, specifically on the protection of Russia's intellectual property rights in small arms and light weapons production.

"In some instances, the terms of such agreements have expired, while in others different-caliber weapons are being made since all licenses for the production of Kalashnikov automatic rifles were issued decades ago," he said.

According to Russia's state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the AK is currently in service in the armed forces of more than 50 countries. The Kalashnikov rifle is symbolically reflected in the national coats of arms of six states.

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