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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 9, 2004

9 August 2004
Creation Of Tatar-Kazakh Venture Discussed
Executives from Tatarstan-based Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazakhstan's Turan Alem Bank met recently to negotiate the terms of a joint venture in the transport sector and mutual deliveries of petrochemical products, Tatarinform reported on 6 August. A delegation of bank officials visited Tatarstan in late July, the report said. The talks involved the possibilities for processing at Nizhnekamskneftekhim of light hydrocarbons produced in Kazakhstan and credits to Tuben Kama's industrial companies as well as small and medium-size businesses from the Kazakh bank. Turan Alem has $300 million in capital and reported assets of $3 billion.

IKEA Building MEGA Center In Kazan
Swedish-based IKEA, one of the world's leading producers of furniture and household goods, announced its decision to construct a MEGA shopping center in Kazan and begin talks renting retail premises, Interfax reported on 6 August, citing a company press release. The company says that the center's opening is slated for late 2005. The shopping center is expected to house 150 shops, cafes, and restaurants. The Kazan complex is IKEA's third such project in the Russian Federation.

KamAZ Creates Assembly Line In Vietnam
KamAZ Deputy General Director Anatolii Samarenkin said the automobile concern will open an assembly line in Vietnam in September, Tatcenter reported on 6 August. Some 300 KamAZ trucks are expected to be delivered by the end of the year. KamAZ has already arranged for assembly lines in Hungary, Egypt, Poland, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Ethiopia. The concern cooperates with 44 countries in total, Samarenkin said.

Tatarstan Communist Leader Ousted
A plenum of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) in Tatarstan on 7 August dismissed Aleksandr Salii from the post of first party secretary, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 9 August. The party's city chairman in Chally, Khefiz Mirgalimov, was elected its new leader. Salii remained on as a member of the KPRF's republican-committee bureau. Party members prohibited Salii from any contacts with alternative congress leader and Ivanovo Oblast Governor Vladimir Tikhonov. Salii participated in alternative KPRF plenum and congress held by KPRF leader Gennadii Zyuganov's opponents in Moscow in early July that elected Tikhonov leader; the meeting was deemed null by a 3 August resolution from the Russian Justice Ministry. Salii's dismissal was initiated at the republican-committee bureau meeting on 11 July but postponed pending a conclusion by the Justice Ministry on the legitimacy of the respective KPRF congresses (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 13 July 2004). At the 7 August gathering, Salii prefaced his resignation by saying he had vowed to step down "if Gennadii Zyuganov remained KPRF leader."

A group of delegates proposed that Salii, Nesime Stolyarova, and Robert Sadyiqov -- who also took part in the alternative forum -- be expelled from the party. Mirgalimov, who chaired the plenum, proposed that Salii be reelected bureau member in the interest of maintaining "unity within the party." Salii, Stolyarova, and Sadyiqov were rebuked for "betraying the line promoted by Zyuganov and an attempt to split the KPRF."

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkir Delegation In Kazakhstan
Bashkir presidential administration head Radii Khebirov and Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Minister Boris Kolbin visited Kazakhstan's capital Astana on 5 August to discuss preparations for an October visit of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov to Kazakhstan, Bashinform reported on 6 August. Issues of bilateral cooperation and the opening of a Bashkir representation in Astana were also on the agenda. The delegation visited the Russian Embassy in Kazakhstan, met with Kazakh presidential administration head Imangali Tasmagambetov, Deputy Foreign Minister Nurlan Onzhanov, and acting Industry and Trade Minister Gosman Amrin. Meeting with the heads of the Astana administration, the Bashkir officials discussed developing further ties with Kazakhstan.

NefAZ Produces Gas-Powered Bus
Russia's first gas-powered bus has been constructed at NefAZ, reported on 6 August, citing the NefAZ press service. The KamAZ-produced gas engine has passed certification. The bus will be introduced at the Moscow International Automobile Exhibition in late August.

Jewel Smugglers Detained In Bashkortostan
The head of the press service of the Bashkir Directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service, Igor Kovalenko, detailed the preliminary results of an investigation into diamond and emerald smuggling in Bashkortostan, "Kommersant-Povolzhe" reported on 7 August. Kovalenko said that three Sterletamaq residents had been detained for selling 700,000 rubles ($23,943) worth of jewels. He said the men were the organizers of the largest smuggling racket that has ever existed in the republic. The group has been operating for three years and has purchased precious stones from deposits in Siberia and the Urals. According to Kovalenko, the group has been delivering them through Krasnodarskii Krai to Armenia. After being processed, the jewels were returned to Russia.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova