Promexport was a military-industrial firm that was consolidated under Rosboronexport and later, Rostec. Originally, the Soviet (Russian) system of military technical cooperation with other nations started with the Chief Engineering Board, which was set up in 1953 as a unit of the Ministry for Domestic and Foreign Trade, pursuant to a resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. As areas of military technical cooperation (“MTC”) were evolving, other bodies of specialized foreign trade also emerged.
In the 1990s, the system of Russia’s MTC underwent crucial changes. On 20 August 1997 aA decree of the President of the Russian Federation, “On Measures for Consolidation of State Control of Foreign Trade Activities in the Area of Military Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation with Foreign States,” set up a state-controlled intermediary called Promexport, a federal state unitary enterprise (FSUE), to sell decommissioned military equipment abroad (decommissioning was part of a reform of the military). V.E. Filimonov was appointed Director General of Promexport (FSUE). Russian Technologies (FSUE) was established soon after.
By the end of the decade, the country had two state-controlled intermediaries in the military trade sector, namely Rosvooruzhenie, a state-owned company and a federal state unitary enterprise (FSUE), and Promexport, also a federal state unitary enterprise (FSUE). In addition, there were a few other entities involved in MTC, in particular military-industrial enterprises. In order to enhance efficiency of their operations in the external market, establishment of the “presidential vertical” for the management of MTC by the federal government was required, which helped reinforce coordination and control over arms exports and eliminated competition among Russian entities involved in MTC.
One major problem hindering Moscow's arms sales effort lay in the realm of product support, which proved highly unsatisfactory, especially with respect to parts deliveries to its best customer, India. Both the Rosvooruzheniye and Promexport arms sales agencies were slow to respond to requests for spare parts and repairs, sometimes taking months to process orders. That poor performance led the deputy director ofRussia's Center for Strategic and Technological Analysis, Konstantin Makienko, to predict that Russia "will ultimately be squeezed out of the arms market."
Following a round of talks between the United States and Israel, Tel Aviv and India revived the sale of the Phalcon early warning radar system. The Russians appear angry that India bought the Israeli system. A marketing executive from a Russian arms exporting company, Promexport, Victor Bulaev, told Defense Week that the missile sale was a "wake up call" to Russian companies. India was a loyal and long standing customer whose needs had to be addressed better.
On November 4, 2000, the President of the Russian Federation issued Decree No. 1834, to merge the two state-controlled intermediaries and establish a single state-controlled special exporter named Rosoboronexport, a federal state unitary enterprise (FSUE).
An entirely unrelated Promexport is one of the oldest operators in the lubricants market since 1996. Promexport specializes in the sale of lubricants in large (barrel) packaging from its own warehouse and the shipment of fuels and lubricants by fuel trucks directly from factories. The company sells motor, hydraulic, industrial, marine, turbine, transmission, compressor, transformer oils, antifreeze, all major technical fluids, a wide range of automotive and industrial lubricants, as well as bitumen, mastics and paraffins.
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