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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 20, 2003

20 May 2003
Shaimiev Meets With Bangladeshi Ambassador
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev met on 19 May with Bangladeshi Ambassador to Russia Nazimulla Choudhuri, who is at the start of a trip to various Russian regions, reported the same day. Bangladesh, which has 40 million tons of oil reserves and 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, is interested in Tatarstan's experience in extracting natural resources, developing gas deposits, and power engineering. The sides discussed deliveries of machine-building products, as well as KamAZ vehicles, helicopters, and ships, from Tatarstan in exchange for tea, seafood, and textiles from Bangladesh. Under a student exchange program that was also on the agenda, students from Bangladesh would be able to enter Kazan universities beginning this year. The sides agreed that a presentation about Tatarstan and an exhibition of Tatar-made products will be held in Bangladesh and that Tatar Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Khafiz Salikhov will visit Bangladesh in June to prepare for the event.

The bilateral trade turnover dropped from $109,700 in 2001 to just $300 in 2002, reported.

Mukhametshin Visits Strasbourg
Tatar State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin left on 19 May for Strasbourg to take part in a session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, reported the same day. Mukhametshin is a member of the Russian delegation to the Council of Europe and of the Congress's Chamber of Regions and the Committee on Culture and Education. Mukhametshin will inform the Council of Europe leadership on preparations for an international conference on the constitutional status of regions in the Russian Federation and other European countries due to be held in Kazan on 11-12 July under the aegis of the Council of Europe.

Yukos Representatives Elected To Alnas Board
Four representatives of companies affiliated with Yukos, Access Industries Euroasia Vice President Mikhail Galkin, Yuganskneftegaz property directorate head Konstantin Letsev, Yuganskneftegaz Financial Director Vyacheslav Pavlov, and Yukos-EP Vice President Vladimir Paltsev, were elected to the Alnas pump plant's new board of directors, reported on 19 May. Companies subordinate to or affiliated with Yukos possess 50 percent of Alnas's shares, while the Tatar government controls 25 percent. Timur Akchurin, an adviser to Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov, and Tatneftekhiminvest Holding Deputy General Director Shamil Gobeev, represent the Tatar government on the board. Among nine board members, there are also Tatar-American Investments and Finance group representative Andrei Sarkin and Alnas General Director Aleksei Lukin. Aleksandr Proshechkin was reelected board chairman.

Vneshtorgbank Provides KamAZ With Credits
Vneshtorgbank launched a program that allows the credit leasing of KamAZ vehicles, for which it will allocate 500 million rubles ($16.2 million) within the next four years, "Kommersant" reported on 19 May. The project is the first one resulting from the investment agreement signed six months ago by the bank and the Tatar government. The bank also plans to allocate $100 million in credit for the truck concern to develop and expand production.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

President Emphasizes Role Of Oil Industry For Bashkortostan
In his opening speech at the 4th annual Congress of Russia's Oil Industry in Ufa on 19 May, President Murtaza Rakhimov said that Bashkortostan leads the country's regions in oil processing, refining one-seventh of the total oil processed in Russia, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported today. He said that Bashkir oil refineries produce one-third of the high-octane gas produced in Russia. Rakhimov also acknowledged that the oil industry "always has been and remains the basis of our economic development."

Ufa Mayor Steps Down
The Ufa City Council convened on 19 May to consider approving the retirement of Mayor Reuf Nogumanov, who is to be replaced by former Housing Minister Pavel Kachkaev, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported yesterday. President Rakhimov attended the meeting, expressing praise for Nogumanov, who had served as mayor for three years.

New Governmental Body Set Up
The newly formed Bashkir Republic Council held its first session on 17 May, Bashinform reported yesterday. The consultative body under the Bashkir president includes regional administration heads from across the republic and is supposed to ensure the efficient coordination of the executive branches of power, make proposals regarding social and economic development, legislative and staff changes.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi