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Kalashnikov group welcomes plans to produce AK-47 rifles in US

January 22, 2015, 9:55 UTC+3
US-based Russian Weapon Company is planning to start manufacturing Kalashnikov rifles in US due to US sanctions against Russia
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© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Sysoyev

MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Group on Thursday welcomed the plans announced by a US-based Russian Weapons Company (RWC) to launch a domestic production line under the famous Russian brand, which has been struggling with the Western ban.

“The products of Kalashnikov Group have traditionally kept the lead on the US market. The sanctions introduced have significantly increased the interest for the produce of the group, and such a step on the part of RWC in current conditions seems to be rather logical to us,” a spokesman for the group told TASS.

The spokesman noted that “this project once again stresses that the legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle is popular.”

A CNN report said on Wednesday that American company RWC, which is the official importer and distributor of Kalashnikov AK-47s, had to stop importing guns after Washington imposed sanctions on Russia in July amid the Ukrainian crisis.

“An American gun company has found a way around the anti-Russia sanctions that have banned imports of the Kalashnikov assault rifle: Make them here, in the U.S.A.” the report said.

The gun, which will start being manufactured in the second quarter of this year, will have the same name as the original - AK-47, with a marking “Made in U.S.A.”

“RWC, based in Tullytown, Pennsylvania, has the rights to the AK-47 Kalashnikov brand of guns,” the report said.

Reaction of Mikhail Kalashnikov's relatives

In the meantime, family members of weapons designed Mikhail Kalashnikov, who died in December 2013, told TASS in the city of Izhevsk, western Urals, that they were astonished by the RWC’s plans to launch the manufacturing of AK-47s under the ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ brand.

“I don’t know if it's bad or good, or just a total shame,” Mikhail Kalashnikov’s daughter Tatiana, the president of a foundation in her father’s name said. “I don’t really know how to describe this. Most obviously, it’s quite astonishing.”

She said she did not know on what grounds anyone in the US can start the manufacturing of the legendary assault rifles.

“These are very complicated things,” Tatiana Kalashnikova said. “What’s the corporation doing at present? We don’t know what relations it has had and who the partners were and who promised what whom to and who made arrangements.”

“We (the relatives) don’t know anything at all about it,” she said.

Still Kalashnikova believes that the brand of the assault rifle created by her celebrated father should belong to the Russian Defense Ministry, since the creation of the guns was sponsored by that ministry

Kalashnikov corporation is Russia’s largest producer of combat automatic guns and sniping equipment, as well as guided artillery projectiles and a broad spectrum of civilian products from hunting guns to sports rifles to industrial processing units to bench-work tools. Its produce is exported to the U.S., Britain,Germany, Norway, Canada, Kazakhstan, Thailand and another twenty countries.]

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