11 November 2004
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANSenior KamAZ Manager Meets With Kazakh Prime Minister
Kazakh Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov met with KamAZ General Director Sergei Kogogin in Moscow on 10 November to discuss the possible creation of a joint venture to assemble KamAZ tractors and buses as well as the sale of Tatarstan-made vehicles to that country, RIA-Novosti reported the same day. Ad hoc groups are already completing a program of steps for distribution of KamAZ production sites among Kazakhstan's industrial ventures, the news agency reported. A consortium comprising KamAZ and Kazakhstan's Astana-Finans, Ispat-Karmet, Isker, Kazakhstantraktor, Semipalatinsk machinery plant, Asmolinsk KamAZ Autocenter, and the Kustanay engine-repair plant was established in July 2003.
Pravda.ru Suggests That First Deputy Prime Minister Might Be Implicated In Ukrtatnafta Scandal
First Deputy Prime Minister Rawyl Moratov could lose his job over an alleged failure to protect effectively Tatarstan's interests in the Ukrtatnafta joint venture with Ukraine, pravda.ru speculated on 10 November. The website cited rumors that implicate Moratov in a scandal regarding a 43 stake in the company, on whose supervisory board he sits. Tatar shareholders reportedly possess a majority 56 percent stake.
Pravda.ru reported that Moratov stood by while shares owned by the Ukrainian State Property Fund were handed over to national oil and gas company Nafotgaz Ukrayini and personally removed Ukrtatnafta board Chairman Pavel Ovcharenko. The latter move reportedly "forced the [Tatar] prime minister to agree to the appointment of a new chairman representing Naftogaz Ukrayini -- Sergei Gorshkov," pravda.ru asserted.
Pravda.ru also cited the Kazan edition of "Kommersant-Daily" alleging that Moratov agreed to "dubious actions [by] the Ukrainian side" in exchange for the permission of Ukrainian shareholders to withdraw Tatnefteprom-Zuzeevneft from a list of assets contributed by Tatarstan to the charter capital of Ukrtatnafta.
Tatarstan government officials reportedly reacted "painfully" to suggestions in the Russian and Ukrainian media that Moratov's actions might have been part of an alleged conspiracy with corrupt officials within the Ukrainian government and a betrayal of Tatarstan's economic interests.
Kazan University Renovation Arrives Too Late For 200th Anniversary
Although celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Kazan State University have already begun, the campus of one of the oldest educational institutions in Russia is still unprepared for the celebrations due to what university officials describe as a lack of funding from the federal budget, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 10 November, citing a news conference held by rector Myakzyum Salakhov. According to an unnamed university official speaking to RFE/RL the same day, the renovation work is expected to continue until 2005, while the anniversary will be celebrated with the participation of federal Education Minister Andrei Fursenko, and Russian Noble laureates Jores Alferov and Vitalii Ginzburg on 17 November.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTANMinistry Reports Reduced Revenue From Privatization
Bashkortostan's Ministry of State Property earned the republican budget 1.1 billion rubles ($36 million) in 2004, Bashinform reported on 10 November. The sum reportedly represents earnings from the privatization and leasing of state property. Compared to previous years, the ministry is reportedly getting more revenue from the leasing of state property but receiving less income from the privatization of state assets.
Vietnamese Ambassador Wants To Revive Trade With Bashkortostan
The Vietnamese ambassador to Russia, Nguen Van Ngan, arrived in Ufa on 10 November for a meeting with Bashkir Finance Minister Ayrat Geskerov, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. According to the Bashkir Ministry of Foreign Economic Affairs and Trade, trade between Bashkortostan and Vietnam has slumped in recent years after peaking at $6.3 million in 2001.
Most Of Bashkortostan's Residents Trust Police
According to a poll cited by an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent on 10 November -- which is celebrated in Russia as Police Day -- 65 percent of Bashkortostan's population trust local police. Nevertheless, the republican branches of human rights organizations, including the movement For Human Rights, cite numerous crimes being committed by police officers and have made several public statements about them and have appealed to the federal Interior Ministry to look into the allegations.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi