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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 20, 1999

20 April 1999
German Investors Want Better Guarantees
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev met with the president of Germany's Mineraloil-Rostoff-Handel (MRH), Rudolf Krening, on 19 April, Tatarinform reported. MRH will reportedly invest over $200 million in the oil extracting and oil refining industry in Tatarstan over the next 20 years. During the negotiations, Krening said it was necessary to "create stronger guarantees" for foreign investors in the republic's legal code. Shaimiev said that all investing companies would be able to obtain up to 70 percent of the shares in joint ventures with Tatarstan.

GM To Invest More In Venture With YelAZ
The vice president of the General Motors Corporation, David Herman, announced on 19 April, that GM will invest $500 million in its joint ventures in Russia this year. GM will reportedly allocate $250 million for its YelAZ-GM venture in Alabuga, Tatarstan, for constructing a production line for construction of Opel Vectras.

Tatarstan State Air Company Established
Tatarstan's Cabinet of Ministers issued a decree on 17 April establishing the "Tatarstan" state air company, the government press service reported. The "Tatarstan" company is a merger of the Kazan and Tuben Kama air carriers as well as Begishevo international airport. By 2000 Bogelme airport is also to become joint-stock venture and will join up with "Tatarstan." Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov announced on 17 April that Magomed Zakarzhayev has been appointed a general director of "Tatarstan." Before his appointment Zakarzhayev was a top official of the Kazan air company.

Tatneft Acknowledges Losses In 1998
According to the official report on the Tatneft oil company in 1998, its income reached 3.43 billion rubles, a 280 million rise over the previous year. In 1998, Tatneft reportedly lost 8.71 billion rubles because of the drastic fall of the ruble. The company acknowledged that losses exceeded its income that year, even though production costs went down by 708 million rubles.

Rakhimov Named An "Earth Keeper"
Nature reserves in Bashkortostan will increase by 1.9 million hectares by 2000, Bashinform reported. The total area of national parks will equal 16 percent of the republic's total territory. Based on these plans, the World Fund of Wild Nature issued an "Earth Keeper" certificate to Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov. Bashkortostan's government expects a UNESCO delegation to arrive in the republic on Earth Day on 22 April. UNESCO officials will reportedly consult with local governments on ways of preserving nature.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi