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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 23, 2000

23 August 2000
Cypriot Official Visits Kazan
The Cypriot representative in the Russian Federation, Kharalambus Ionidias, visited Kazan on 22 August. He met Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, the director of the presidential foreign relations department, Timur Akulov, Trade and Economic Cooperation Minister Khafiz Salikhov, and business representatives. A presentation of a joint Tatar-Cypriot venture funded by the Savvos company was held the same day. Ionidias told journalists that four companies operate in Tatarstan using Cypriot investments: Teleset, Savvos-Dionisii, Volga-Telecom, and light-industry companies. He said "we have plans to develop the investments in Cyprus [as well]. We are going to organize business seminars both in Tatarstan and Cyprus. And we would like to develop cultural connections and tourism."

Bashkir Delegation Visits KamAZ
A delegation of businessmen and state government representatives from Bashkortostan is on a return visit to the KamAZ truck concern, Tatar Radio reported on 22 August. A KamAZ delegation visited Ufa last month to develop cooperation. The heads of Bashkortostan's leading companies and city officials met in Chally with the company's managers, attended KamAZ factories, and an exhibition of vehicles produced by the concern. During talks, the production of equipment for companies in both republics, mutual deliveries of spare parts and materiel, and the production of special machinery were noted as the main issues for cooperation. Special attention was paid to plans for an exhibition that will showcase the industrial potential of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, scheduled to be held on 19-20 October in the Bashkir city of Tuimazy. About 100 companies from the republics will show their wares and seek business partners at the exhibition.

KamAZ Debt Restructuring Postponed
Tatarstan's KamAZ truck concern and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which owns the security of the company's property, agreed to postpone the restructuring of KamAZ's debt until 31 October, the daily "Vremya i Den gi" reported on 22 August. Signing the documents was initially scheduled for 15 July but the Russian government reportedly needed more time to confirm its readiness as a guarantor of KamAZ's debt. The daily cited KamAZ General-Manager Ivan Kostin as saying that the postponement was due to technical reasons connected to the coordination of documents between various Russian governmental bodies. Kostin said that no problems are expected to arise since the plan for restructuring agreed to with the EBRD doesn't require any changes in the federal budget. The EBRD and KamAZ signed a memorandum in April, according to which the EBRD agreed to assume half of KamAZ's $141 million debt in exchange for company shares, the second half of the debt to be repaid over 12 years in cash and guaranteed by the Russian government.

By Gulnara Khasanova