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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 19, 2005

19 July 2005
Kazan Helicopter Plant To Join Federal Helicopter Holding
Tatarstan's government will contribute a 29.92 percent stake in the Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ) to the capital of the federal "Oboronprom" defense industry concern, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 19 July. The concern will reportedly oversee the consolidation of all producers of Mil helicopters into one holding to be instituted on 16 August 2005. According to an unnamed source within the Tatar government, Kazan hopes to acquire a blocking stake in the future holding.

Owned jointly by the republic and private owners, KVZ is currently rated 10th among Russia's top 20 defense industry plants. It posted sales of $192.7 million in 2004 and profits of $6.6 million. Eighty-two percent of its production is sold outside Russia.

Tatar Senator Praised For Role In Developing Relations With OIC
The Russian Foreign Ministry wrote in a letter to Federation Council Chairman Aleksandr Torshin that it appreciates the contribution Ekzam Gobeidullin, senator from Tatarstan, made to the work of the Russian delegation at the 32th conference of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Tatar-inform reported on 18 July. Gobeidullin reportedly was praised for his active participation in the conference held in Yemen on 28-29 June, and for previous work that led to Russia obtaining observer's status in the international organization.

Tatneft Oil Reserves Expected To Last At Least 30 Years
According to an audit conducted by Miller and Lantz to assess Tatneft's oil reserves, in June the company had 837.1 million tons of extractable oil deposits and 203.9 million of anticipated reserves, the "Tribuna" weekly wrote on 18 July. Tatneft reportedly estimates that the oil reserves are enough for at least 30 years of its operation.

Higher Wages Mean More Expenses For Consumer Goods For Tatar Residents
Tatarstan's retail-trade turnover in the first half of 2005 was estimated at 71.82 billion rubles ($2.56 billion), 20.8 percent higher than over the same period in 2004, Tatar-inform reported on 18 July. The agency cited Tatarstan's State Statistics Committee as confirming that foodstuffs accounted for 52 percent of retail trade.

In May, the overall average monthly salary in both state and private sectors of Tatarstan's economy was reported at 6,718 rubles ($240).

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Journalist Complains Of Political Persecution In Sharan Region
Fail Ekhmetshin, a former election-campaign worker for Bashkir presidential candidate Relif Safin, filed suit with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg claiming he was persecuted after President Murtaza Rakhimov's victory, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 18 July. Soon after the 2003 presidential election, Ekhmetshin lost his job as deputy editor in chief of a Sharan regional daily and has been unable to find a similar job in his home region ever since.

Bashkortostan To Get Its Own Steel Plant
The Beloretskaya Stal steel company and Austria's Fest-Alpinas signed a contract to build a steel forge in Beloretsk, Bashkortostan, which in two years is to produce 750 tons of steel per year, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 18 July. Along with its iron ore deposit, the new plant will reportedly use black metal scrap iron for raw materials.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi