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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 23, 2000

23 February 2000
Hungarian Delegation Visits Tatarstan
A Hungarian delegation headed by the Hungarian ambassador to Russia, Erne Keshken, is on a two-day visit to Tatarstan, Tatar-inform reported. During a meeting with the delegation on 22 February, Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, extended an invitation for the Hungarian president to visit Tatarstan. The sides discussed prospects for the creation of a joint venture producing Hungarian Ikarus buses. Tatar Deputy Premier and Economics and Industry Minister Sergei Kogogin said the republic is interested in a renewal of deliveries to Hungary of KamAZ trucks and spare parts. They agreed to hold an exhibition of Hungarian companies in Kazan this summer and to open trade houses in Tatarstan and Hungary.

Tatar and Russian Officials Concerned With Land Reform
Tatar President Shaimiev and the chairman of the Russian State Committee on land politics, Sergei Sai, negotiated an agreement on land reform in Tatarstan and in Russia as a whole during a meeting in Kazan, Tatar-inform reported on 22 February. In Shaimiev's opinion, the reforms shouldn't be limited only to the sale and purchase of land but must also include the creation of a system of land registration. Sai said during the meeting that work on creating an inventory of republican land is well organized in Tatarstan. The sides agreed that the Russian Land Code should only define the main principles of the land policy while each territorial entity should be given the right to make its own decisions, taking into account special features of each region.

Tatarstan's Exports Exceeds Imports Fivefold
The deputy head of Tatarstan's Customs Board, Aleksei Shikalev, said on 22 February that foreign trade turnover for Tatarstan last year was more than $1.8 billion. Shikalev told a news conference in Kazan that exports from Tatarstan were some $1.525 billion in 1999 while imports were worth about $290 million. He said Tatarstan has trade relations with 88 countries, and its main partners are Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Finland, and Poland. He added that the republican Customs Board contributed over 2.5 billion rubles into the federal budget last year, and that this year that figure is expected to be 5 billion rubles.

Turkey Thanks Tatarstan
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Jem has sent a letter of thanks to Shafagat Takhautdinov, the general manager of Tatarstan's leading oil company Tatneft. Jen expressed gratitude for the aid the republic sent to help in the aftermath of the 17 August earthquake in northwest Turkey.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova