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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 4, 2004

4 October 2004
New Helicopter Model Presented In Kazan
The Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ) presented on 1 October its new model of helicopter, Mi-38, and "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 1 and 2 October. KVZ General Director Aleksandr Lavrentev told a press conference on 1 October that the aircraft will appear on the market no later than in 2008 and will be significantly cheaper than its foreign competitors, the Euripean EH-101 and American Sikorsky S-92, at between $9 million to $12 million.

The chairman of the Russian Air Forces' General Staff Military Scientific Committee, Valerii Volodin, Industry and Power Engineering Deputy Minister Valerii Voskoboinikov, and MVZ General Director Yurii Andriyanov arrived in Kazan to take part in a 20-minute flight demonstration of the helicopter.

At a press conference the same day, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said Tatarstan has agreed to pass a state-run stake in KVZ to a vertically integrated holding. He said representatives of Tatarstan and Russia will in turn be on the KVZ board of directors.

Kazan Aviation Plant Signs $1.5 Billion Contract
Proekt 3000 head Sergei Khokhlov and Kazan Gorbunov Aviation Plant (KAPO) General Director Nail Kheirullin have signed a $1.5 billion contract in Kazan for the delivery of 100 Tu-334A aircraft beginning in 2007, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 1 October. The deal will not be finalized until government approval. The daily quoted an unidentified source at the Tupolev company as saying that a resolution will likely appear "in two or three weeks." The source said that under the contract, 12 airliners will initially be delivered in 2007 and then KAPO will assemble 20 aircraft a year. The source also said that Proekt 3000 has signed protocols of intent with 45 airlines for the lease of a total of 170 jets, including on in which Aeroflot would lease up to 50 aircraft.

The Tu-334, which was designed in the late 1980s, was certified in June. It can handle 102 passengers and has a range of 3,150 kilometers at the speed of 820 kilometers per hour. Proekt 3000 was established in June by the Tupolev company and the Cheboksary Uniinter-M to lease Tu-334s.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Supreme Mufti Skeptical About Afghan Elections
Speaking to reporters on 2 October, Ufa-based Muslim Spiritual Directorate of Russia Chairman Telget Tajetdin expressed his concern that Afghanistan remains a source of narcotics in Russia and a hotbed of international terrorism, Bashinform reported the same day. Tajetdin said that the upcoming presidential election "is predetermined beforehand" and could "result in a new...fratricidal war." Tajetdin said "elections from one side are a good thing, but from the other side, those who thrust their system of governing [on others] without taking into account customs and traditions of peoples deserve to be condemned." He called on international organizations, specifically the United Nations, to interfere in the situation. Most of all, he said, Afghanistan needs peace and concord and only then people can decide its future.

Descendants Of Tatar Nobility Establish New Group
Members of Bashkortostan's Tatar Murzas Council have set up a new organization to replace the council that was abolished on 31 August by the Ufa Ordzhonikidze Raion Court, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 3 October. The authorities said that the organization did not have the correct registration documents. At a 30 September meeting, the organizing committee of the new body scheduled a forum for 7 October and proposed Ufa lawyer Rifqet Chanyshev as a leader of the new body. Chanyshev told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on 3 October that the revamped organization plans to attract more young members. The Tatar Murzas Council unites the descendants of Tatar feudal lords.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova