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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 10, 2000

10 February 2000
Putin Comments On Federal Relations
Russian acting President Vladimir Putin said on 9 February that the interests of federation subjects will by no means be restricted. Putin made the comments during a call-in program held by the daily "Komsomolskaya Pravda." Putin said that the "federative system is the best variant for Russia. Sovereignty and independence are two different things. The power-sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia allows us to hope for a long-term stable condition for our state. But nothing is frozen, everything develops. We have contacts with the republic's leaders. We will develop these relations, and not only with Tatarstan, so that everybody feels that all of the possibilities for national development within the federation exist." Putin reaffirmed his commitment to constitutional-treaty relations between Moscow and the territorial entities.

Speaker Comments On Moscow-Kazan Treaty Relations
Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, said on 9 February that the signing of the power-sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia marked the recognition by Moscow of the results from Tatarstan's referendum on increasing the status of the republic and Tatarstan's new constitution, Tatar Radio reported. Mukhametshin made his comments at a scientific conference devoted to the sixth anniversary of the treaty between Tatarstan and Russia. Mukhametshin said that currently treaty relations between Russia and Tatarstan have become an subject of biased critics at the federal level. Mukhametshin continued that there is not a composite approach to solving national and regional problems in Russia. He said that the main direction of Russia's federal politics should be determined.

Tatarstan Trying To Settle External Debts
Tatar Finance Minister Robert Musin told a news conference on 8 February that a memorandum was signed with the creditors club on the terms of repayment for the republic's main external debt of $100 million to the ING Barings bank. The debt will be repaid over the next seven years at 8.5 percent interest. Some $6 million has been already paid by Tatarstan. Musin said that the Finance Ministry will also pay the debt of the KamAZ truck concern to Sberbank. That loan was received in 1996 under guarantees from the republic's government. Commenting on the fact that Tatarstan is nearly the only Russian territorial entity where a federal treasury hasn't been opened, Musin said "we are ready to continue efforts on the creation of a federal treasury in Tatarstan but we should negotiate with Moscow on our relations."

Tatneft Buys Chemical, Communications Companies
Tatarstan's leading oil company, Tatneft, purchased all of the shares of the republic's largest chemical agent manufacturer, Tatneftepromkhim, and a controlling interest in the republican communications company Tatincom-T, Tatar-inform reported on 9 February. Meanwhile, according to a Tatneft plan, some 20,000-30,000 telephones will be installed in 2000 in the southeastern part of the republic.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova