The Russian Government looks set to acquire the 25.8% share in Aeroflot currently held by business magnate Alexander Lebedev for around $400m, so removing the last major independent shareholder in the State-controlled national airline.
Lebedev has been quite critical of the airline management's expenditure and he has also made himself unpopular by calling on Aeroflot management to invest in more 'foreign' aircraft.
If the acquisition goes ahead, it would raise the Russian Government's share in Aeroflot to around 75% and return it to state control after it was spun off when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The government has taken an increasing interest in direct involvement in the airline business recently, having set up Rosavia/Russian Airlines to buy out several struggling regional carriers who were crippled by the financial crisis.
Analysts say that one option for the government now could be a merger of Rosavi and Aeroflot into one company.