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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 8, 2000

8 September 2000
Tatarstan's President Returns From Japan
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev returned on 7 September from a visit to Japan that he attended along with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shaimiev's press secretary, Irek Murtazin told an RFE/RL correspondent in Kazan on 7 September that Tatarstan's president had "a number of fruitful meetings with Japanese businessmen, sometimes even neglecting the cultural program of the visit." Shaimiev reportedly met the heads of the Fujitsu and Sumimoto corporations during the visit to discuss possible cooperation prospects. Representatives of Fujitsu reportedly asked Shaimiev to prevent the exodus of high-qualified computer specialists from his republic, because Fujitsu has made numerous orders with the ICL-Kazan Computing Systems plant.

FSB: A Terrorist Group Of Citizens Of Tatarstan Detained
Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) representative Aleksandr Shagako told a press conference in Moscow on 7 September that the FSB detained in Kislovodsk on 1 June a terrorist group consisting of three people from Tatarstan. Shagako said that the group had plotted explosions at the Kazan Aircraft Plant, the federal military base in Chally, and the railroad station in the Agryz region. He also noted that the group intended to arrange kidnappings in an attempt to gain significant sums of ransom money. Reported to have been arrested were I. Gumerov, 34; I. Mukhametgaliyev, 27; and 22-year-old R. Khannanov. They are said to have received special training in the Kavkaz rebel camp in Chechnya in 1998-1999.

In December 1999 a group of people from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Sverdlovsk Oblast was arrested for the bomb blasts at a gas pipeline on the border of Tatarstan and Sverdlovsk Oblast. The explosion was said to have similar "Chechen traces," because the organizers said they wanted to harm the Russian economy and draw the attention of Western European countries to the Chechen conflict.

By Iskender Nurmi