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    Senior official of Energia space corp. appointed president - 1

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    KOROLYOV (Moscow Region), July 31 (RIA Novosti) - Vitaly Lopota, formerly first vice president of the Energia space corporation and its chief designer, has been appointed the company's new president.

    Earlier, Energia's shareholders voted to dismiss Nikolai Sevastyanov from the post by a 97% majority, and voted 97.5% in favor of Lopota, 57.

    The decision to suspend Sevastyanov's mandate was made in late June by the board of directors of state-controlled Energia, which designs Soyuz piloted spacecraft and Progress booster rockets, launches communications satellites, and operates the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS).

    Until today, Sevastyanov's duties were carried out by Energia First Vice President Alexander Strekalov, who also headed an experimental machine-building plant incorporated in Energia.

    Nikolai Moiseyev, Energia's board chairman, said earlier that Sevastyanov was to blame for taking uncoordinated measures with regard to a number of projects, including international projects and manned flights.

    The chairman said the company's former president presented a program that was unrealistic in terms of Energia's resources and capacity, and that had not been coordinated with the federal program for developing Russia's space industry until 2015.

    The Energia chief has been repeatedly criticized, primarily for his daring projects relating to lunar exploration, branded "lunacy" by the Space Agency, which moved to restrict his powers.

    The newly elected president has already pledged to form an anti-crisis management in the corporation to sort things out.

    "The first thing we must do is introduce an anti-crisis management team," Vitaly Lopota said. "Because the course which the corporation has been on for the past two years has led to bankruptcy instead of prosperity."

    Lopota added that he is currently working on the new structure, and will offer a clear position on the issue next Monday.

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