On March 9, 2004, President Putin of Russia signed a decree that created a new structure of the Russian federal government. The decree created 16 new ministries and transformed some old ministries into federal agencies. The reorganization affected a number of defense-related ministries and agencies.
The Russian Aviation and Space Agency was transformed into the Federal Space Agency, subordinated to the Ministry for Industry and Energy (headed by Viktor Khristenko). On March 12, 2004 the prime minister appointed Anatoly Perminov to head of the new agency. Prior to this appointment Anatoly Perminov was the Commander of the Space Forces. He was replaced by Vladimir Popovkin, who was appointed as Commander of the Space Forces by a presidential decree of March 10, 2004.
The Ministry of Atomic Energy was transformed into Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, subordinated to the Ministry for Industry and Energy (headed by Viktor Khristenko). The new agency is headed by Aleksandr Rumyantsev, who was the minister of Minatom. On matters related to nuclear weapons the agency will report to the Ministry of Defense.
None of these changes are likely to affect the way the defense industry and the nuclear weapons production complex are operating or their relationships with the Ministry of Defense related to development, production, and maintenance of strategic weapons. The most serious change is that under the new government structure the federal agencies do not have the authority to issue their own judicial acts and regulations.