RAO UES of Russia to contribute USD 1 million for Kalashnikov Museum

The electric company United Energy Systems of Russia will donate USD 1 million for the construction in Izhevsk of a Kalashnikov museum and exposition center. As reported to a Rosbalt correspondent Monday by the press center of the company Udmurtenergo, the announcement was made during a visit to Izhevsk by Pavel Smirnov, an executive officer of UES of Russia.

An initial agreement on the joint construction project was reached in November 2003, during a visit to Izhevsk by Anatolii Chubais. In a meeting with the arms designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov, he promised to provide the project with financial support. Construction on the museum and exposition center, named after the father of the world-renowned AK-47, was begun in the fall of 1996, and is being financed by the administration of Izhevsk and charitable foundations. Financial support for the project has also come from the federal budget, the company Rosoboronexport (500,000 rubles), as well as businessmen from Russia, Germany and Hungary.

The complex is located on Izhevsk's central square. It is expected to display the complete range of Kalashnikov weapons systems, constructed both in Russia and abroad, and will include a permanent collection of Russian firearms. Mikhail Kalashnikov has donated his private collection of firearms and knives to the city, as well as photographs, archival material, memoirs and video materials. The total area of the complex will exceed 4,000 square meters, while the exposition halls will total 120,000 square meters. The total cost of the complex is estimated at 96 million rubles. The opening I scheduled for the fall of 2004.

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