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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 29, 1999

29 July 1999
Chechen Representative In Kazan Protests Arrest
The recent departure to Moscow of the Chechen permanent representative in Tatarstan, Umar Ayupov, was connected to the recent arrest of Chechen Security Minister Tural Atgireev in the Russian capital. Ayupov told Tatar-inform that Chechnya's representative office in Tatarstan will continue functioning, but that following Atgireev's arrest, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov ordered all representatives in Russia to hold a 72-hour protest strike. Ayupov said that Atgireev's arrest was carried out by forces that want to scuttle the upcoming meeting of Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Maskhadov. Ayupov praised Russian Premier Sergei Stepashin for his order that Atgireev be released. Ayupov said he believes that Chechen opposition leaders are afraid of the cooperative efforts of the Russian and Chechen Interior Ministries because it threatens their activities.

KamAZ To Mark Repayment With Gift
The 1,600 automobile is expected to be assembled at the KamAZ truck concern this week, Tatar Radio reported. It will be turned over to Tatarstan's Agriculture Ministry on the account of repaying the 155 million ruble credit given by the republican government last year. The credit, which was allocated for three years, will reportedly be paid by December. Tatarstan's deputy premier and minister for economics and industry, Sergei Kogogin, said, however, that the debt to Western creditors remains a large problem for KamAZ. He said in an interview with Tatar Radio that the concern heads didn't yet manage to reach an agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He added that bank representatives didn't attend the last KamAZ board meeting. Kogogin said that the concept of KamAZ's development for 1999-2000 will be adopted at the next board of directors' meeting. In Kogogin's words, one of the difficulties is finding markets to sell trucks, where KamAZ has strong competition from a Minsk automobile plant.

Foreigners Visit Tatar Helicopter Plant
An international conference was held at the Kazan helicopter association on 28 July, Tatar Television reported. Representatives from 14 countries, all either consumers of Tatarstan-produced helicopters or those who intend to purchase Kazan helicopters, attended the conference. Beginning in the 1950s, some 10,000 helicopters have been sold by the company. Currently it produces the basic model MI-17, and such innovative new models as the MI-38 and the Ansat and Aktai.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova