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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 17, 1998

17 November 1998
Shaimiev And Schroeder Meet In Moscow
Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev was among the Russian politicians who met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on 16 November in Moscow. During the meeting at the German embassy, Shaimiev congratulated Schroeder on his election victory and wished him success as chancellor. Shaimiev and Schroeder also discussed continued German-Tatarstan cooperation in trade and industry.

Shaimiev and Schroeder first met in 1994 in Hannover, Germany, during an international industry fair. The following year Schroeder visited Kazan and later signed a treaty on intergovernmental cooperation between Tatarstan and the German state of Niedersachsen, of which Schroeder was governor.

Foreign trade turnover between Tatarstan and Germany reached $494 million last year, making Germany one of the republic's leading trade partners, the republican press reported.

Future Of YelAZ-GM Joint Venture In Jeopardy
Tatarstan's cabinet held a meeting on 17 November devoted to the development of the YelAZ-GM auto factory. The general director of YelAZ, Ravil Zaripov, said in a report that new investments would be necessary next year in order for the venture to continue. He suggested that the Tatar government allot funds from the state budget to YelAZ in 1999.

First Deputy Prime Minister Ravil Muratov, who is also the chairman of the board of directors of the KamAZ auto plant, sharply criticized Zaripov's recommendation. "Let's not pretend that we are rich," he said. "We don't have any extra money." Muratov said it was imperative that both YelAZ and KamAZ intensify their efforts to attract foreign investment.

Alabuga Offshore Zone Administration Chief Named
President Shaimiev also issued a decree on 16 November appointing YelAZ car plant General Director Ravil Zaripov as head of the Alabuga offshore zone administration.

Tatar Students Looking For Improvement
A congress of Tatar students was held on 16 November at Kazan State University. Some 400 students from 36 higher education institutions shared their problems with President Shaimiev and Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov. Most of the complaints concerned the low number of scholarships available and worries about finding jobs upon graduation.

Shaimiev promised support for the students and said that in the future decisions affecting students' lives would be made only after consultation with the "congress of students."

Compiled by I.Nurmi