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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 10, 1999

10 March 1999
Swedish Ambassador In Tatarstan To Boost Ties
A delegation led by the Swedish ambassador to Russia, Swen Hierdman, met Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov on 9 March. The Swedes are visiting Tatarstan with the aim of developing economic and commercial ties. Hierdman told Tatar-inform that the current level of Swedish-Tatar cooperation is unsatisfactory even though some Swedish companies, such as the Ericsson telecommunications company, operate in Tatarstan. He said the Swedish delegation is particularly interested in the production at the Kazan helicopter plant. Hierdman added that he is looking forward to learning about Tatarstan's constitutional system. "I studied the treaty between Tatarstan and Russia signed in 1994, and I have some questions about how this legislation works," he said.

Shaimiev Is Optimistic On Talks With IMF
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, said in an interview with Interfax that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will undoubtedly give Russia already promised credits. Shaimiev said he doesn't link the IMF's position to its like or dislike of individual members of Primakov's government. He said there are political and financial reasons why Russia should obtain certain concessions from the IMF. The West clearly understands the importance of the issue, he added, and the IMF's refusal of credit could bring communists to power in elections slated for later this year. Shaimiev said he believes the IMF's desire to stabilize the situation will force them into making concessions to Moscow.

KamAZ Wants To Cooperate With Volvo
Tatarstan's first deputy prime minister, Ravil Muratov, said on 9 March that the Swedish concern Volvo may become a partner of the KamAZ truck plant. Muratov said at a press conference upon his return from Sweden that he studied prospects of cooperation between KamAZ and Volvo during his visit. Muratov said Volvo is one of several possible strategic partners being considered for KamAZ; another is DaimlerChrysler.

Azerbaijan Seeks Closer Cooperation With Tatarstan In Petrochemical Industry
A delegation of Azerbaijani businessmen arrived in Kazan on 9 March for a three-day visit intended to improve ties with Tatarstan's petrochemical companies. The visitors are scheduled to meet with Tatarstan's first deputy prime minister, Ravil Muratov, who heads the major petrochemical enterprises, and attend a session of the Orgsintez industrial association. Fikret Sadykov, the president of the state chemical concern Azerkhimiya, chairs the delegation. He said in an interview with Tatar television that Azerbaijani industries have suffered from the weakening ties between same-sector enterprises in recent years.

Chally Trade Unions Not Willing To Join Otechestvo
The Chally Trade Unions Federation (TUF) said that the Otechestvo political movement led by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov does not have a clear program and its platform doesn't correspond to the interests of Russia's territorial entities. A debate over whether the TUF should join Otechestvo took place at a recent TUF meeting despite the fact that Tatarstan's union leaders have already shown their support for Luzhkov's party and even joined as members. The Chally TUF has formed a working group to study Otechestvo's program and plans to invite the leader of the republic's TUF, Farida Gainullina, to coordinate activities, Tatar-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova