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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 26, 2002

26 June 2002
Kasyanov Confirms Moscow's Plans To Support Kazan Aviation Leasing Projects...
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, accompanied by Minister of Industry, Science, and Technology Ilya Klebanov, Minister of Ethnic Policies Vladimir Zorin, First Deputy Minister of Transport and civil aviation service head Aleksandr Neradko, Deputy Minister of Finance Andrei Petrov, and the general director of Rosaviakosmos (Russian Aerospace Agency), Yuri Koptev, arrived in Kazan on 25 June, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported.

After visiting KAPO imeni Gorbunova (Kazan aircraft plant), Kasyanov held a meeting with Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov, and other Tatar officials at the Kazan Kremlin that focused on issues related to the aircraft industry. He said at a press conference that the meeting was not about any problems with the local government, but was needed to resolve issues for estimating the cost of the Financial Leasing Company (FLC), previously established for managing the leasing programs of the aviation plant. Kasyanov confirmed that the federal government intends to buy a controlling amount of shares in the FLC, "but we need to have it assessed by the independent experts, who will define the company's value." He also stated that this is the main reason for the delays in the work of the leasing programs, adding that "as soon as work on estimating the FLC cost is done the federal government will immediately begin implementing the leasing schemes."

According to an AK&M report on 25 June, Kelbanov and Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref presented a report to the Russian cabinet saying that the financing of leasing contracts regarding Tu-204 planes (produced by the Aviastar aviation plant in Ulyanovsk) and Il-96 aircraft (produced by the Volronezh aviation plant) have already begun.

...And Says Moscow Ready For Discussion On 'Oil Quality' Bank...
Also on 25 June, Russian Prime Minister Kasyanov said that his government was waiting for Tatarstan's government to make its own proposals regarding the shape of an oil-quality bank and was "ready to discuss measures for state support to the oil industry on the federal level," RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Previously, officials in Tatarstan expressed concern about possible losses of oil revenue if the quality bank will require the suppliers of lower-quality, high-sulfur oil -- such as Tatarstan and Bashkortostan -- to compensate for the poor quality of their product by receiving reduced oil-export revenue. According to top oil industry officials in Tatarstan, this requirement would ignore the fact that high-sulfur oil has higher production costs and therefore undermine the profitability of oil extraction in the two republics.

Kasyanov said in Kazan that he and President Mintimer Shaimiev agreed that in a short period of time Tatarstan will prepare a list of "compensation measures so that the introduction of an oil-quality bank would be painless for the oil companies."

He also said that the taxation of oil industries "should take into consideration" such factors as the difficulty of extraction in different locations or exhausted oil wells. Nevertheless, the recently introduced federal tax on the extraction of mineral resources disregards such factors.

Shaimiev reacted to Kasyanov's statement by saying that "although Tatarstan is prepared for discussion, this is not an easy issue," while Kasyanov noted that Russian government was "ready for difficult talks as well."

...Says Industry Needs More Investment
During his visit to Kazan, Kasyanov spoke of the current state of Tatarstan's industry by saying that "this republic has lived the last 10 years with the lowest possible losses for its economy," reported on 25 June. Switching to the issue of industrial development in Russia, he said that: "we don't have the necessary level of investments in the industry, and this situation needs to be corrected. Russia's future is in the field of processing industry, the sphere of high-technology production."

Although Kasyanov praised the visits to the Kazanskoe Aviatsionnoe Proizvodstvennoe Obedinenie (KAPO), Kazanskoe Vertoletnyi Zavod (Kazan helicopter plant), and the Kazanskoe Motorostroitelnoe Proizvodstvennoe Obedinenie (Kazan motor plant) and what they produce, he emphasized that "we are still very far from a normal positioning of our products on the world market."

Conference On Developing Phone Networks In Rural Areas
Russian Minister of Communications and Information Leonid Reinman told a Kazan conference on developing communications networks in rural areas that telephone networks grew in Tatarstan's agricultural regions by 10 percent in 2001, while the overall Russian average was 3 percent, reported on 25 June.

However, according to Tatarstan's Minister of Communications Rinat Zalyaov, who spoke at the same conference, the percentage of rural residences with telephones in the republic was three times less than the percentage of urban residences and 42 percent of rural telephone stations were in very poor condition.

In the next several years, Tatarstan's government plans to invest 1.2 billion rubles ($38.7 million) developing rural telephone networks, so that 43 percent of those residents will have telephones, while currently only 20 percent of them use telephones.

Tatneft To Promote Tatarstan's Tires, Motor Oils Across Russia
According to Tatar-inform on 25 June, the oil company Tatneft began creating a network of shops of the Tuben Kama tire company, Nizhekamskshina, inside and outside of Tatarstan. The shops will promote the motor oils of the Tuben Kama oil company Nizhnekamsk-oil, in which Tatneft reportedly invested $12.5 million. Nizhekamskshina also plans to receive $80 million in investment from Tatneft for launching the production of radial tires with technology from the Italian tire company Pirelli.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Interior Ministry Official Says Juvenile Crime Down This Year...
According to Galina Karimova, head of the Department of Juvenile Crime of the Bashkir Interior Ministry, 1,167 crimes were committed by minors in the republic in the first five months of 2002, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 25 June. This figure represents a decrease of 16 percent compared to the same period of 2001. Among the types of crimes committed by juveniles, there were eight murders, 11 rapes, and 41 assaults, while the majority of crimes were property-related.

...Talks About Domestic Violence Against Children
Karimova also said that 112 felony cases were opened in 2001 against parents who allegedly physically abused their children. More than 50 of these cases have gone to court so far this year. She said that domestic violence is the main reason for the growing number of children on the streets of the republic, some 1,400 of whom have been detained by the police so far this year.

Republic To Erect Monument To Residents Killed In Action
A monument to victims of 20th-century wars will be unveiled in Ufa's Victory Park on 11 October to commemorate soldiers from Bashkortostan whose lives were lost during conflicts with the participation of Soviet or Russian armed forces in 38 countries or regions, including Afghanistan, Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh, Korea, Ethiopia, and Egypt, Bashinform reported on 25 June. More than 800 residents of Bashkortostan have been killed in action since 1961.

Turkish Business Delegation Visits Republic
A delegation of businessmen from the Turkish town of Kayseri met with officials from the Bashkir Chamber of Trade and Industry and local businessmen in Ufa on 25 June, Bashkortostan state radio reported the same day. The delegation included representatives from the spheres of furniture making, carpets, textiles, chemicals, construction materials, and dentistry.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi