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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 12, 2000

12 April 2000
KamAZ To Open Assembly Line In Ethiopia
The KamAZ auto company's press service reported on 12 April that the company will launch an assembly line in Ethiopia in May. The joint venture between KamAZ and Ethiopia's Mesfin will reportedly distribute heavy-load trucks in a number of East African countries. According to a statement by KamAZ General-Director Ivan Kostin, the victory of his company's team in the Dakar-Cairo off-road race attracted the interest of customers in Iraq and Libya. Officials from KamAZ have reportedly finished field testing heavy trucks in Iraq and Libya has allowed company's representatives to study its auto market.

Tuben Kama Set To Increase Power Output
Tatarstan's deputy prime minister, Sergei Kogogin, told a press conference on 11 April that the republican government "planned to begin raising the level of the Tuben Kama water reserve in Chally in 2001." This measure is expected to allow Tatarstan to reduce its natural gas consumption in the production of electricity, as the increase will allow the Tuben Kama hydropower station in Chally to boost its output.

According to a government source, this program will require an investment of 32 billion rubles. Kogogin told the press conference that the republican government is negotiating with the federal government to grant this program a "federal" status in order to attract federal payments. According to a government group, if the increased water level occurs, 43,000 hectares of land would be submerged in Tatarstan, 15,000 in Bashkortostan, and 13,000 in Udmurtia. Tatarstan's Ministry of Economy and Industry is to discuss the project the other territorial governments concerned and to look for investors for the project.

Six More Deputies Elected To Tatarstan's Parliament
Final results of the second round of republican parliamentary elections in six districts were announced on 11 April. According to the Central Election Committee (CEC), turnout was "unexpectedly high" and was some 30-40 percent of registered voters. Only in the Safiullin district -- where candidate Tatyana Larionova of the Kazan city administration is protesting the results -- was a problem reported. She said she will insist on a recount of the ballots since her rival, Aleksandr Shtanin, was announced as the winner over her by less than 1 percent of the votes. But on the same day she withdrew her claim from the CEC without deliberation with the committee. Shtanin is from the opposition RIZ (Equality, Legality, and Legal Order) party.

Children Of Chally Send Gifts To Gudermes
Agencies reported on 12 April that children from Tatarstan's second city of Chally donated 40 packages of candy and school supplies that will be sent to children in refugee camps in Gudermes, Chechnya. The donations were made in an drive called "Operation Chocolate Bar."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi