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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 6, 1999

6 September 1999
Prime Minister Discusses Economic Relations With Moscow
Tatarstan's premier, Rustam Minnikhanov, held negotiations in Moscow on 2 September in an attempt to resolve the republic's main economic problems. Tatarstan's plenipotentiary representative in Moscow said that bilateral relations between Tatarstan and Russia regarding the budget were discussed with Russian Deputy Finance Minister Andrei Kudrin. The two sides also considered adding an excise tax on oil exports. A cooperation agreement was signed during the meeting with the the head of the federal agency on food markets, Vladimir Loginov. Deliveries of grain and raw materials for sugar production in Tatarstan are among the measures included in the document. The export of potatoes and other agricultural products from Tatarstan to Moscow were negotiated Moscow First Deputy Mayor Boris Nikolskii. Minnikhanov also met with officials from the Agriculture Ministry to discuss a number of joint projects in the food processing industry. Minnikhanov also paid a visit to the Moscow helicopter plant. Several other meetings were held to discuss issues concerning the oil and petrochemical industries.

Tatarstan Official Comments On Situation In Karachaevo-Cherkessia
Rafail Khakimov, the state advisor to Tatarstan's president, said that problems in Karachaevo-Cherkessia should be considered part of a common problem of the whole North Caucasus. Khakimov made his comments in an interview with Tatar Radio on 4 September. Khakimov said "the point is that there is not one common national policy in Russia. As for Tatars, we develop our nationalities policies ourselves and in this way stabilize a situation." He added that no matter what, even if a policy for the North Caucasus would be developed, Chechnya will always cause problems and until the Chechen issue is solved, "all the neighboring republics will be, to a certain extent, in a conditions of destabilization. As for the [possible] secession of the Cherkess and the granting of autonomy, etc., [Tatarstan has other] plans. Our point of view is that Tatarstan is a political association where different peoples and ethnic groups should find mutual understanding. Drawing ethnic boundaries and creating ethnically pure territories is now irrational." Khakimov said when a conflict goes too far has happened in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, it is necessary to began round-table talks in order to solve the problem.

Tatarstan And South Australia To Boost Ties
The prospects for economic cooperation between Tatarstan and South Australia were discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on 3 September, Tatar-inform reported. Tatarstan's Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met with a delegation headed by South Australia's first deputy prime minister for agriculture, natural resources and regional development, Robert Kerin. The sides discussed the current state of bilateral relations, and the trade, economics, and cultural cooperation pacts signed in Adelaide in 1995. Minnikhanov said in an interview with Tatar Television that Tatarstan is interested in cooperating with South Australia in agricultural production and processing. The Australian ambassador to Russia, Rut Pirs, said he is familiar in attracting investment to republican economies with joint projects. In November, Minnikhanov will visit South Australia to continue talks on cooperation. Trade turnover between the two sides is currently about $50,000.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova