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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 8, 1999

8 February 1999
Tatneft Facing Difficult Financial Year
Tatneft officials said after a recent meeting that the company has plans to repay some of its more than $1 billion debt in 1999. Tatneft officials said they plan to maintain last year's oil output of 22,500 tons by upgrading technology and exploiting some of its reserved oil installations. Officials project next year's output to more than double that of Bashkortostan. If Tatneft's board of creditors in London agrees to restructure the company's debt then Tatneft will begin a program aimed at cutting production costs. On 6 February, the republican press quoted Renat Muslimov, an aide to Tatarstan's president, as saying that the policies chosen by Tatneft "were absolutely right."

Turkey, China Try To Dump Goods In Tatarstan
Tatarstan's center for standardization and certification said that Turkish and Chinese companies tried to export great quantities of low quality products to Tatarstan in 1998. Children's footwear, food products, and clothes produced by the Turkish Miniment, Bifa, and Pellium-Village companies, as well as several brands of Chinese electrical appliances and children's clothes, were rejected by Tatar officials because of an unsatisfactory level of quality.

The "black list" in 1998 included companies from Iran, Taiwan, and Georgia. After the financial crisis broke in August, total imports to Tatarstan decreased while the amount of low quality imports increased.

Ties Between Tatarstan And Ural Region To Be Strengthened
A fund between Tatarstan and the Ural region has been established to boost the activities of Tatarstan's representative office in Sverdlovsk. The current duties of the office are to deal with economic cooperation issues and to keep in touch with the some one million Tatars living in the Perm, Kurgan, Orenburg, and Chelyabinsk areas.

Tatarstan's Muslims To Hold Meeting
The Spiritual Board of Muslims in Tatarstan announced that 27 March would be the date of this year's Kurban bayram day of sacrifice. At the board meeting, held on 3 February, Muslim leaders from Tatarstan agreed on the creation of a symbolic monument honoring the theologian Shigabutdin Marjani. The board turned down several proposals for a monument with a human likeness of Marjani, saying that the "Koran prohibits the depiction of humans" and that they "were to obey" the teaching.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim To Begin Producing Tires For Blazers
After tests by the YelAZ-GM Corporation and the Brazilian branch of General Motors, three types of tires produced by Tatarstan's Nizhnekamskneftekhim Company were approved for Chevrolet Blazers produced in Alabuga. The tires corresponded to the standards of the Firestone Company and were recommended for all Chevrolet service centers in Russia.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi