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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 29, 1999

29 March 1999
Tatneft And Norsi-Oil To Cooperate In Oil Refining
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov endorsed a treaty on cooperation between Tatarstan's Tatneft Company and the Norsi-Oil company from the Nizhny Novgorod region on 26 March. Under the terms of the agreement, Tatneft will annually deliver five million tons of raw oil to be refined by Norsi-Oil. In return, Norsi-Oil is expected to place 51 percent of its shares into a trust management run by Tatarstan. Nizhny Novgorod Governor Ivan Sklyarov said his region would like to obtain 85 percent of the shares in the oil refinery which are currently owned by the federal government, and is "hoping for the assistance of Tatarstan's government" during talks with the Russian minister of state property, former Tatar Deputy Prime Minister Farit Gazizullin. Tatneft General Director Rinat Galeev, Governor Sklyarov, and Norsi-Oil President Vadim Vorobyev signed the treaty.

Administration Heads Under Investigation
Tatarstan's Parliamentary Control Committee and Presidential Control Board have revealed a gross abuse of funds by officials in the Etne and Kukmor regions, the republican press reported on 27 March. Members of the administrations there are accused of swindling monies for business purposes and exceeding allowable expenditures on personal transport and mobile phones. State employees in the Etne region are owed more than 7 million rubles and 22 million rubles in the Kukmor region.

Kurban Holiday Celebrated In Tatarstan
The chairman of Tatarstan's Muslim Spiritual board, Gosman Khazrat Iskhaqi, congratulated Muslims in the republic on the occasion of Kurban Bayram -- the sacrifice holiday marked on 27 March. He said the people of Tatarstan should "unite despite the hard tests that life put them through." He called for mutual charity and sympathy among people, stressing that "this and not the bloodshed" was the "main meaning" of the ritual.

Cooperation Agreement Signed After Visit By Indian Ambassador
India and Tatarstan have agreed to cooperate in aircraft production, the oil industry, and pharmaceuticals, the republican press reported on 27 March. The previous day, President Mintimer Shaimiev met with the Indian ambassador in Russia, Satinder Kumar Lamba, to discuss possible modes of cooperation. They agreed that Indian oil company representatives would visit Tatarstan in late April to sign a treaty on bilateral cooperation in oil, gas, and chemical industries.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi