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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 17, 2000

17 January 2000
Mukhametshin Doesn't Regret Supporting Fatherland-All Russia
The leader of the republican political movement Tatarstan-New Century (TNC), Farit Mukhametshin, said on 15 January that the leaders of the republic and TNC do not regret on their decision to support Fatherland-All Russia during the December State Duma elections. Mukhametshin was responding to comments in some local media that Tatarstan's leaders had shown poor judgement in supporting Fatherland-All Russia, the State Council's press center reported. Mukhametshin said that Tatarstan demonstrated faith in its conviction and political will. Mukhametshin said that Fatherland-All Russia helped in forming a solid State Duma and that the bloc forced federal officials to re-evaluate their relations with regions and interethnic issues.

Tikhonov: Tatarstan Did Not Deliver Helicopters To Iran
A representative of the Russian arms exporting company Rosvooruzheniye in Tatarstan, Mikhail Tikhonov, denied on 14 January reports by foreign radio stations that the republic had delivered to Iran the first two of five MI-17 helicopters in accordance with a trade agreement between Russia and Iran. Tikhonov said in an interview with Tatar-inform that the Kazan helicopter plant, which manufactures the MI-17, didn't deliver helicopters to Iran. Tikhonov said that, in his opinion, the case in question is most likely about MI-171 helicopters produced in Ulan-Ude, which are quite similar to the MI-17. He added that he knows nothing about an official agreement between Iran and Russia on helicopter deliveries. He supposes that sales could have been made within the framework of a commercial deal.

Central Bank Delares Aq Bars Bank Financially Stable
Tatar-inform reported on 14 January that the Russian Central Bank declared Tatarstan's largest commercial bank, Aq Bars, to be clear of any financial troubles. The Central Bank summed up the results of Russian banks' activities over the last year and classified the Aq Bars Bank as financially stable.

Tatarstan's Pensioners Party Gets New Chairman
Kazan businessman Sergei Shashurin, who was recently reelected as a State Duma deputy, agreed to head Tatarstan's regional branch of the Party of Pensioners, Tatar-inform reported on 14 January. The acting chairman of the party's Tatarstan branch, Amir Guismatullin, said in an interview with Tatar-inform that he will keep his post as the branch's co-chairman. Shashurin is an entrepreneur with a bad reputation due due to his ties with the criminal world. He completed a jail term shortly before being elected to the State Duma.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova