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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 14, 1999

14 April 1999
Regional Leaders Against Impeaching Yeltsin
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, and leaders of 16 republics of the Russian Federation issued an appeal to the Russian State Duma suggesting that it end the process of impeaching Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the republican press reported on 14 April. The appeal said that it was important to "both executive and legislative bodies to deal with internal problems and to defend the position of Russia in the international arena." Many regional leaders reportedly support Yeltsin's efforts to find a political settlement of the situation in Yugoslavia. The appeal was also signed by the presidents of Ingushetia, Adigeya, North Ossetia, Kalmykia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Yakutia, Buryatia, Mari-El, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Karachayevo-Cherkesia, and the prime ministers of the Altai Republic, Karelia, Khakasia, and the State Council chairman of Dagestan as well as the head of the Komi Republic.

KamAZ Seeks To Relieve The Burden Of EBRD Debt
In an interview with the republican press on 14 April, President Shaimiev said that it was possible that the KamAZ auto works could be headed by a representative of the Russian government. He noted that if the negotiations with the European Bank for Reconstruction (EBRD) and Development--one of KamAZ's major creditors--on restructuring its debt were successful, Tatarstan's representatives on the KamAZ board of directors would vote to appoint a Russian as the board's chairman. Interfax reports that talks between KamAZ officials and the EBRD are scheduled for May. Shaimiev said it was his feeling that "KamAZ completely became a hostage of the EBRD." In his words, the terms of the EBRD loan "held" KamAZ "by the throat," and that even if it had the capacity to repay its loans, the EBRD would still "own everything" at KamAZ.

Construction Workers Complain Of Mounting Wages Arrears
Workers in Tatarstan's building industry complained in a letter to the republic's president that there were "no perspectives for [the] industry's development," the republican press reported on 14 April. Builders were concerned by the continued absence of funding and raw materials for their industry. Construction companies of Kazan are reportedly owed 510 million rubles for 1998. Meanwhile, back wages for construction workers reached 103 million rubles for the same period. The chairman of Tatarstan's Construction Industry Trade Union, Rafael Karimullin, signed the letter as well.

Tatarstan To Rely On Domestic Bus Production
Tatarstan is studying the possibility of producing city buses and trolleys at the Kazan Aircraft Factory, Tatar state radio reported on 14 April. The radio reported that KamAZ auto works was "currently unable to find an appropriate partner to produce buses using KamAZ-made chassis." There is a reported demand in Tatarstan for 1,000 city buses, though municipalities across Tatarstan don't have the funds needed to purchase the buses.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi