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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 15, 2003

15 January 2003
Speaker Says Tatar Parliamentary Elections May Be Held In December
Tatar State Council speaker Farid Mukhametshin said on 13 January that Tatar parliamentary elections may be held at the same time as the State Duma elections scheduled for December, adding that he hopes the public will treat the idea in a correct way, "Respublika Tatarstan" reported on 14 January. Mukhametshin made his comments to a reception at the Tatar Journalists Union devoted to the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Russian press. Earlier this month Mukhametshin said early parliamentary elections are possible in Tatarstan (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 6 January 2003). The legal term of Tatarstan's current legislature expires in December 2004.

Personnel Reshuffle At KamAZ
An extraordinary shareholders meeting of the KamAZ Trade Finance Company appointed Sergei Maiorov as the company's new general director, reported on 14 January, citing the KamAZ press service. The post was previously held by KamAZ Vice President on sales and service Anatolii Samarenkin. Two months earlier, Maiorov, 39, was appointed KamAZ's sales director.

The same day, KamAZ General Director Sergei Kogogin dismissed Anton Troyanov, vice president in charge of corporative development and management, and replaced him with Ildar Khalikov, previously the deputy general director in charge of economy and finance. Troyanov reportedly clashed with several KamAZ managers six months ago.

Federal Energy Commission Adopts Subscribers' Fee Rates For Energy Companies
The Russian Federal Energy Commission has confirmed a subscribers' fee rate of 60.78 rubles ($1.9) per megawatt-hour to be paid by Tatenergo to the Russia's Unified Energy Systems (EES) as of 1 January, RBK reported on 14 January. Most of Russia's regional companies will pay 85.35 rubles ($2.7) per megawatt-hour, while Dagenergo will pay 64.51 rubles per megawatt-hour, Irkutskenergo 4.19 rubles per megawatt-hour, and Bashkirenergo 5.24 rubles per megawatt-hour. The subscriber-fee issue was for a long time a bone of contention between EES and Tatenergo, which is independent of EES and the only regional energy producer in Russia without EES representatives on its board of directors. Previously, EES demanded that Tatenergo pay it 16.2 rubles per megawatt-hour.

New Vodka Plant Built In Nurlat Raion
The opening ceremony for a new vodka distillery was held on 14 January in Tatarstan's Nurlat Raion, reported the same day. The facility, equipped by the German Krones AG company and capable of producing 1.46 million liters of alcohol a year, was built in three years. The plant was constructed with private funding, most of which was provided by Samara businessman Khabil Biktashev, who expects a return on his investment within eight years.

Kazan University Develops International Relations
Kazan State University signed a cooperation agreement with the Belgian Catholic University of Leuven, under which it will propose its candidates for obtaining grants for PhD programs at Leuven, reported on 13 January. The program provides 10 grants for students from Central and Eastern Europe annually and there are no restrictions on candidates' age or speciality.

Kazan State University will also double the number of students and teachers in its exchange with Japanese Kanazawa University, "Vremya i dengi" reported on 14 January. The two institutions have been cooperating since 1985 in the areas of nuclear magnetics, mathematics, and linguistics.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkir Industry Sees Modest Growth In 2002
The chairman of the Bashkir State Statistics Committee, Ekrem Ganiev, told a government meeting on 14 January that industry in Bashkortostan produced 152.8 billion rubles ($4.8 billion) worth of goods in 2002, an increase of 2.5 percent in comparison with the previous year, an RFE/RL correspondent reported the same day. The steel, nonferrous-metals, machinery, and medical industries were the main contributors to growth in the republic, while the energy, chemical, petrochemical, and consumer-goods industries saw a decrease in production last year.

State Investments In Bashkir Economy To Remain Unchanged In 2003
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov told the same meeting that the amount of state investments in the Bashkir economy in 2003 would remain the same as in the previous year at 5.421 billion rubles ($169.4 million), an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 14 January. The federal government is expected to invest 22.5 percent of that sum, while the republican budget will account for the remainder.

Oil Companies Increase Production Due To High Prices
Bashinform reported on 14 January that republican oil producers extracted more than 12 million tons of oil in 2002, exceeding production targets by 3 percent. High world oil prices were credited for the increase.

Industrial Party, Unified Russia To Team Up In Republican Elections
The head of the Bashkir branch of the Russian Unified Industrial Party, Nail Soleimanov, announced on 14 January that his party will join forces with the republican branch of Unified Russia in republican and local elections in 2003, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Soleimanov also said that any members of his party elected to the State Assembly would serve in the same faction as parliamentarians from Unified Russia. Soleimanov said that he expected that faction to unite "more than 50 percent of [the republic's] parliamentary deputies.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi