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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 22, 2000

22 June 2000
Security Council Concerned With KamAZ Management
Improving the management structure of the KamAZ truck concern was discussed at a 21 June meeting of Tatarstan's Security Council, headed by President Mintimer Shaimiev, Tatar-inform reported. Shaimiev said it's high time to attract strategic investors and to start perfecting the company's management since the process of restructuring the company debts was completed with the signing of a memorandum between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and KamAZ. KamAZ General Manager Ivan Kostin told the meeting that the company currently controls 47 percent of the truck market in Russia. Over the first five months of this year the concern exported about 1,000 trucks alone, while last year total exports were 1,200 vehicles. Exports for 2000 are expected to be three times as high as they were last year. Commenting on the reform of the company's management structure, Shaimiev said the administration of the company should live and work in Chally regardless of what direction the company will go--as a holding or managing company that will grant independence to enterprises within it. On 28 June, a board of directors and shareholders meeting will be held in Chally.

'Russianwide' Media Conference In Kazan
Freedom of the mass media in Russia will be the top issue at a nationwide conference of mass media that opened in Kazan on 21 June, Tatar-inform reported. Over 700 chief editors and journalists representing 50 territorial entities of Russia are attending the forum. Conferences, journalistic competitions, and classes taught by famous journalists will be held within the framework of the event, which will end on 24 June. The opening of the Journalists' House in Kazan is also scheduled. Russia�s permanent representative to the European Union and the former speaker of Tatarstan's parliament, Vasily Likhachev, and the Kyrgyz ambassador to Luxemburg, Chyngyz Aitmatov, arrived in Kazan to take part in the conference. President Mintimer Shaimiev addressed the meeting and said that it is still too early to declare that the threat to a free press is gone forever. He told reporters that "we are in the transition period, that's why it's necessary to be on the alert and not to allow anything to encroach upon freedom of speech. It's our the most valuable achievement over [in recent]...years. The sense of freedom is a priceless sense."

Storms Continue Causing Damage
Severe thunderstorms that raged repeatedly in many areas of Tatarstan on 19 and 20 June damaged powerlines throughout the republic and left some 300 populated areas and over 100 farms powerless, Tatar-inform reported on 21 June. A woman was killed after being crushed by a fallen tree. Additionally, more than one kilometer of pipelines were destroyed in 30 villages. An emergency situation was declared in the districts damaged by the hurricane.

By Gulnara Khasanova