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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 11, 2000


11 September 2000
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Tatarstan's President Holds Governmental Meeting
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, held a governmental meeting on 8 September devoted to the current situation in the republic and the results of his recent visit to Japan. Shaimiev emphasized in his speech that "some of Tatarstan's regional administration heads and members of the republican government still cannot or are unwilling to build a stable relationship with mass media and accept freedom of speech." Shaimiev said "reporters from some of the regional newspapers have a special list of farms that they can visit in order to become informed on the agricultural situation."

Commenting on his visit as part of the delegation travelling with Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, Shaimiev said that he was able "to see relations between the two countries from the inside." He also said that the Russian government agreed to grant more loans to the KamAZ automotive works and that "Vladimir Putin confirmed that amendments will be made to the Russian budget in order to help KamAZ settle claims with its main creditor, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development."

Shaimiev also reacted defiantly to reports that some construction companies are unhappy with a republican tax that is being collected to help in an urban renewal project that aims to replace slum housing in the republic. Several new taxes have been introduced by Tatarstan's government to raise funds for new apartments for people living in rundown housing. He said, "if someone is unhappy with these taxes, [they] can work outside Tatarstan."

Referring to a recent decree by Putin on the formation of the State Council, Shaimiev said "it's just a coincidence" that three of the seven members in the council's presidium are former leaders of the Otechestvo-Vsya Rossiya political movement.

Russian Official On KamAZ Debt Repayments
Russian Deputy Premier Viktor Khristenko, who also serves as the chairman of the board of the KamAZ automotive works, said at a press conference in Moscow on 8 September that "Japanese creditors of KamAZ are ready to resolve the problem of debt repayment," the AK and M agency reported the same day. He added that the issue of KamAZ's Japanese debts was discussed during the recent visit by a Russian governmental delegation to Japan. Khristenko stated that "the frank, quite tough talks brought satisfaction to both sides."

Tatarstan Pledges Compensation For Service In North Caucasus
Soldiers from Tatarstan injured while serving in the North Caucasus will receive monetary compensation, the republic's Interior Ministry spokesman said at a press conference in Kazan on 8 September. According to official data, one officer from Tatarstan has been killed and 11 people wounded while serving in the North Caucasus.

By Iskender Nurmi

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