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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 15, 1999

15 October 1999
Shaimiev Meets With Finnish President
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, met with his Finnish counterpart, Maarti Ahtisaari, during a meeting in Helsinki on 14 October. The two discussed developing bilateral economic and cultural ties, Tatar Radio and Television reported. Shaimiev's spokesman, Irek Murtazin, told Tatar television that the main topic of the talks was on the resolution of interethnic and other conflicts, among them in Namibia, Yugoslavia, and Chechnya. Shaimiev also participated in a seminar devoted to trade and economic cooperation between Tatarstan and Finland. On the sidelines of the visit, an agreement was signed according to which Tatarstan will deliver $50 million worth of petrochemicals from Nizhnekamskneftekhim to Finland. Shaimiev said at a press conference on the same day that an increase in trade turnover between the two countries should be one of the visit's main results. Annual trade turnover between Tatarstan and Finland is currently about $100 million. Also on 14 October, Shaimiev held a reception attended by the speaker of Finland's parliament, business representatives, and members of the Tatar diaspora in Finland.

Tatarstan's Pilots Continue Working In Pakistan
Aleksandr Isakov, head of Tatarstan's pilots' group working in Pakistan, said in a telephone interview with Tatar Television on 14 October that Tatarstan's pilots continue to work in the country despite the military coup that took place there. Forty-five of Tatarstan's pilots have been flying in Pakistan for the last year under a contract between the two countries. Isakov said that airports were closed only on the day of the military takeover. He added that civilians in the capital, Karachi, don't appear to be feeling any changes in their everyday life.

Election Campaign Won't Face Money Shortfall
The head of Tatarstan's Central Election Committee, Marat Siraev, said on 14 October that some 20 million rubles will be allocated for the election campaign, and that the electoral committees, among them okrug-territorial and district committees, will not face financial problems. Of the total, 6 million rubles will come from Tatarstan's budget, the rest from Moscow. Siraev made his comments at a meeting with representatives of the okrug-territorial and district committees, Tatar Radio reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova