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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 17, 1999

17 March 1999
Shaimiev Meets With Russian Officials
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, met on 16 March in Moscow with Russian Federal Security Service Director Vladimir Putin, Railways Minister Nikolai Aksenenko, and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to discuss bilateral issues, Tatar-inform reported. No information is available on what specific topics were discussed.

Tatar Official To Keep Russian State Property Minister Portfolio
Farit Gazizullin, a former Tatarstan Republic official and currently chairman of the board of directors of Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom, was reappointed Russian state property minister on 16 March, Tatar television reported. Gazizullin met with President Boris Yeltsin in the Central Clinical Hospital the same day to discuss the activity of the Russian State Property Committee. Gazizullin had retired from the post of state property minister in January because of poor health.

Tuben Kama Plants Lower Output Due To Gas Shortage
Two plants involved in tire production in Tuben Kama have shut down, and another cut its output by 30 percent due to a shortage of gas, Tatar radio reported. The shortage was caused by Gazprom's decision to cut off extra gas deliveries to Tatarstan earlier this month. Several months ago, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev concluded an agreement with the head of Gazprom, Rem Vyakhirev, on supplemental gas deliveries to Tatarstan -- despite the republic's 2 billion ruble debt -- under the condition that Kazan resume timely payment of its debts, half of which were to be in cash. Gazprom halted the supplemental shipments of gas when the debt grew to 2.2 billion rubles. Tatarstan's energy monopoly, Tatenergo, is the republic's largest gas consumer and the main debtor to Gazprom. Many enterprises in Tatarstan, KamAZ and Nizhnekamskneftekhim among them, in turn, owe Tatenergo.

Tatarstan and Sverdlovsk Oblast Entrepreneurs To Cooperate
A delegation of Sverdlovsk Oblast industrialists met with entrepreneurs from Tatarstan at Kazan's Chamber of Trade and Industry on 16 March to discuss bilateral cooperation. It was decided at the meeting to form a working group to coordinate the commercial and logistical aspects of production deliveries. The sides also agreed to create trade houses in Tatarstan and the Sverdlovsk Oblast. The visitors were interested in supplying Tatarstan with metal, and receiving cardboard, polyethylene, and foodstuffs from the republic, Tatar television reported.

Kazan Subway Construction Continues
Grigorii Klimentyev, head of the board for construction of the Kazan subway, said that all construction has been fully financed for the first 18 months of the project. He said half of the construction expenses were paid by Tatarstan in cash, and the other half by the federal government, mainly counted against payment of republican debts. Nevertheless, all scheduled construction was finished and the first 120 meters of the first station. The first line is scheduled to be finished by 2004, Tatar radio reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova