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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 17, 2000

17 May 2000
Rossiiskiye Regiony Group To Support Kasyanov For Prime Minister
Oleg Morozov, the State Duma deputy representing Tatarstan and the leader of the Rossiiskiye Regiony group, said the group will support Mikhail Kasyanov for prime minister during the voting on 17 May. Morozov said in an interview with Tatar Television on 16 May that Kasyanov met with the group the same day to consult on economic issues and on Moscow's relations with territorial entities. Morozov said the main reason for supporting Kasyanov is not his professional qualities but because of the will to give the president an opportunity to work from the very beginning with a team he trusts and looks forward to work with.

Tatneft To Help Kalmykia In Oil Extraction
Tatarstan's leading oil company, Tatneft, and its Kalmykian partner, Kalmneft, created a joint-stock company called KalmTatneft with equal shares in initializing capital, the state Tatar-inform agency reported on 16 May. Tatneft's chief geologist, Rais Khisamov, told the news agency that a general agreement scheduled for 25 years was signed with the support of the presidents of Tatarstan and Kalmykia, Mintimer Shaimiev and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The main task of the newly created company is the development of oil deposits owned by Kalmneft using modern technologies provided by Tatneft. Tatneft will help the Kalmyk oil industry in the teaching and further training of staff.

State Council To Amend Constitution
Tatarstan's State Council will consider at its next plenary session changes and amendments to the republican constitution that are connected with an upgrading of Tatarstan's judicial system, the press center of the State Council reported on 16 May. Tatarstan's State Council Presidium confirmed an agenda of the session scheduled for 31 May which also includes information on the results of the second round of the elections for the State Council held on 26 March and the draft law on changes to the law on the privatization of state property in the Republic of Tatarstan. The next session of the working parliament on 19 May will hold the third reading of draft laws on the valuation of land and on amendments to the law on administrative responsibility for infringements on land legislation.

Finnish Business Forum Opens In Kazan
Over 80 top Finnish companies participated in the Business Forum Finbusiness-2000, which opened in Kazan on 16 May, Tatar-inform reported. Tatarstan's prime minister, Rustam Minnikhanov, addressed the forum by saying that Finnish technology in energy conservation and technical developments in telecommunications will be exhanged for exports from Tatarstan's defense industry will be the main areas of bilateral cooperation. He said an industrial exhibition by the association "Bolishaya Volga" will be held in the near future in Finland.

Finland is Tatarstan's third largest trade partner. Last year, trade turnover between the two countries totaled about $150 million and constituted about 8 percent of Tatarstan's total foreign trade turnover. Three months earlier, Tatarstan opened a trade office in Helsinki.

Soldiers From Tatarstan Sent To Chechnya
Some 46 soldiers called up six months ago from the town of Elmet left Tatarstan for the North Caucasus on 16 May, Tatar Television reported. They reportedly will be sent to Chechnya to eliminate destruction from the war and to distribute humanitarian aid to civilians. Tatarstan's military officials as well as the soldiers and their parents were cited as saying they were not informed about the strict dislocation of units and where troops from Tatarstan will serve.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova