Putin appoints AvtoVAZ chief acting governor of Samara Region -1

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(Recasts, adds details, quotes in paras. 3-7)

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin accepted the resignation of the Samara Region's governor, Konstantin Titov, and appointed the head of local auto maker AvtoVAZ as acting governor, the Kremlin said Monday.

CEO Vladimir Artyakov was also nominated by the president as governor, and will assume the post after the region's legislature votes on his nomination.

AvtoVAZ (RTS: AVAZ), based in Togliatti in the Samara Region, is Russia's largest car producer.

Titov, who had served as governor of the Volga region since 1991, submitted his letter of resignation voluntarily. A Kremlin source said he may take on another high-level post.

"In his letter to the president, the former governor of the Samara Region said that he had served as head of the region for 16 years, and asked the president to give him an opportunity to take on another occupation," the source said.

Artyakov told journalists after the announcement that his first priority would be to formulate a development program for the Samara Region, concerning "social as well as environmental issues, and the development of industrial potential."

A spokesman for AvtoVAZ Group said that the company has appointed Alexander Pronin, first vice president, as the acting head of the auto giant in place of Artyakov.

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