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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 9, 1999

9 April 1999
State Council Urges Political Settlement Of Kosovo Crisis
Tatarstan's State Council discussed the events in Yugoslavia and passed an appeal stating that the conflict should be resolved only through negotiations, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 8 April. Deputies spoke in favor of prohibiting the enlistment of volunteers for duty in Yugoslavia, a practice that has been initiated by some extreme movements both in Tatarstan and Russia. Several deputies said the State Council should have "expressed its objections [to the situation in Yugoslavia] much earlier when Kosovo was being deprived of its statehood." The appeal will be sent to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, and the State Duma. State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin told reporters he was against "escalating the conflict by supplying arms to Serbs and sending Russian warships" to the Mediterranean "as proposed by some Russian politicians." Mukhametshin said Tatarstan was ready to provide necessary aid to the victims of in the "humanitarian catastrophe."

Tatarstan's Chemical Industry Leader To Cooperate With BASF AG
The Nizhnekamskneftekhim company and BASF AG signed a treaty on long-term strategic partnership in oil chemistry on 8 April. Production of polyurethane and polyesterol at the Nizhnekamsk chemical plant will be the first project launched under the partnership. According to BASF representatives, it is ready to supply its technology and know-how as well as assist Nizhnekamskneftekhim in promoting its products in foreign markets. Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev and Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov attended the treaty-signing ceremony. According to the Cabinet of Ministers, the treaty is one of the key parts of the republican government's plan to develop the oil and gas industry.

Chally Mayor To Run For State Duma Seat
Commenting on the expected resignation of Chally Mayor Rafgat Altinbayev, President Shaimiev told republican television on 8 April that he "wouldn't rule out Altinbayev's intention to become a deputy in the Russian State Duma." He said Altinbayev "would receive support from the republic," stressing that "in the next elections the republic will not remain indifferent to the kind of candidates representing it in the Russian Duma." Tatar state television reported the same day that Altinbayev would submit his resignation on 12 April. He is expected to remain chairman of the Chally City Council and "actively get involved in the [mayoral] election campaign."

Tatarstan And Georgia To Revive Bilateral Trade
President Mintimer Shaimiev met with the Georgian ambassador to Russia, Malkhaz Kakabadze, on 8 April. Shaimiev confirmed during the meeting that he "positively" assessed the revival of previous, more lucrative, bilateral trade ties with Georgia. Tatarstan and Georgia will reportedly boost cooperation in the production of oil, agricultural, and alcoholic products. Kakabadze assured Shaimiev that Tatarstan could "rely on Georgia as an intermediate for trade with European countries." He informed Shaimiev that his country is soon to become a member of the Council of Europe.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi