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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 28, 2000

28 September 2000
Oil Embezzlement By Ukrtatnafta Under Investigation
The Ukrainian Ministry of Interior is investigating a case of oil embezzlement at the Ukrtatnafta oil refining plant, in which Tatarstan owns 50 percent, Tatarinform agency reported on 27 September. Ukrtatnafta reportedly owes $26.2 million worth of oil products to the Ukrainian State Mineral Resources Reserve (USMRR), having delivered only 30 percent of its scheduled amount thus far in 2000. The refinery has also violated the terms of its contract with the state reserve by exporting products in order to pay off old debts. According to the contract, Ukrtatnafta is to process oil delivered by the state reserve and return the finished oil products, such as gasoline and motor oils, to the state reserve.

The USMRR has suggested two possible solutions to the problem, either to initiate bankruptcy procedures on the refinery or acquire 50 percent of its shares, which are currently owned by the Ukrainian government. Tatarstan's Tatneft oil company previously claimed the same state owned shares as compensation for Ukrainian debts on oil received from Tatarstan. This would make Tatneft, which already owns 50 percent of the refinery's shares, the owner of the entire enterprise.

According to current taxation terms it is unprofitable for Tatneft to sell its oil to Ukraine, Tatarinform agency reported. But at the same time, according to the primary intergovernmental agreement between Tatarstan, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, Ukrtatnafta could boost its output by processing the oil extracted in Kazakhstan.

Original Chally TPC's Phonelines Disconnected
The Chally chairman of the moderate nationalist group Tatar Public Center (TPC), Rafis Kashapov, appealed to city Mayor Rashit Khamadeev, Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farit Mukhametshin, and Chally telephone network chief Ravil Galimov on 27 September for the group's telephones to be reconnected. Kashapov said they were turned off without warning. Galimov told Tatar media the same day that he received a letter from the chairman of a new TPC in Chally, Damir Galiyev, asking that the phonelines be relocated. Galimov noted that the letter contained documents proving Galiyev's commissions. Galiyev was recently elected head of the new TPC in Chally. He also serves as the head of the Kalkan independent trade union.

Galimov suggested the "both the old and the new TPCs should confront each other in court and then we will establish the telephone connection to the one acknowledged by the court to be the actual TPC."

On 22 September, the Kazan office of the TPC wrote in a letter to State Council Chairman Mukhametshin and Chally Mayor Khamadeev that it acknowledged Rafis Khashapov's TPC as "the only legitimate TPC representative."

By Iskender Nurmi