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    Russian defense minister to chair united aircraft corp. board

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    Russia's president approved on Thursday the defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, as board chairman of the United Aircraft Building Corporation, which will aim to streamline the country's military and civilian aviation.

    MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's president approved on Thursday the defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, as board chairman of the United Aircraft Building Corporation, which will aim to streamline the country's military and civilian aviation.

    President Vladimir Putin signed a resolution February 21 on forming the UABC, to be a state-controlled corporation consolidating aircraft construction companies and state assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, non-military, transport, and unmanned aircraft.

    Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, said at a meeting with the president that foreign investors would not be admitted to the military sector of the UABC, and asked Putin to pass a resolution as soon as possible to put the corporation on a list of Russia's strategic enterprises.

    "Russia is a leader in military aviation, and we plan to develop this sector independently," he said, adding that foreign investment will be encouraged in the UABC's civil and transport sector.

    Ivanov said the corporation's assets are estimated at 96 billion rubles ($3.6 billion).

    The UABC is set to be registered by the end of November, and its formation will be completed by April, 2007, he said.

    The corporation, which will be governed by a collegial body, will consolidate its assets in the first quarter of 2007, and will issue shares in 2007 or 2008, according to Russia's Industry and Energy Ministry.

    State-owned fighter jet manufacturer MiG, as well as aviation companies Sukhoi, Tupolev, and Ilyushin, will be integrated into the UABC.

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