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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 30, 1999

30 April 1999
Tatar Premier Meets With Iraqi Oil Minister
The prime minister of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, met on 29 April in Moscow with the Iraqi Oil Minister Mukhammad Rashid, who is on a working visit to Russia. The sides discussed the prospects for mutual cooperation, Tatar television reported.

Tatneft Fails To Pay Debt
Tatarstan's oil giant Tatneft has not paid $13.5 million in debts on coupons for Eurobonds, Tatar television reported citing an unnamed official at Tatneft. The official did not say when he thought the debt would be repaid.

YelAZ-GM Stops Assembly Of Chevrolet
Marat Galeev, the chairman of the State Council's Commission on Economic Development and Reforms, said the YelAZ-General Motors corporation has halted production of Chevrolet Blazers. Galeev said in an interview with Interfax-AiF that the halt is due to the need to upgrade the models. Galeev said that beginning in September the company will resume producing the 1999 jeep model.

Trade Unions And Communists To Celebrate 1 May
Tatarstan's Trade Unions have decided to abstain from violent protests on 1 May in order to allow the Russian government to make good on its promise to pay wage arrears, Tatar-inform reported on 29 April. Trade Union members will organize a meeting on 1 May near Gorky Park and will protest on such themes as "Repayment of salary debts" and "Timely payment of pensions and allowances."

Later in the day, leftist organizations will hold a rally at the same square. The Communist Party of Tatarstan, lead by Aleksandr Salii, the Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) of the Republic of Tatarstan, headed by Vladimir Mashkov, and other leftist political groups will participate. They will reportedly use these slogans: "For rights and benefits of the working people, unity and solidarity of parties;" "For real democratization of public life in Tatarstan;" "For renovated socialism and a restored Soviet Union;" "Against unemployment, poverty, an orgy of criminality, economic collapse, and the deterioration of science, education, health protection, culture."

Kazan State University Develops International Ties
Jan Guiyom Ditter, a representative from the European Fund of Education, based in Italy -- and the coordinator of the TEMPUS program for Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova -- is visiting Kazan State University, Tatar-inform reported on 29 April.

Ditter met with scientists from the Kazan, Udmurt, and Marii universities -- all participants in TEMPUS projects.

The TEMPUS program is an offshoot of TACIS, supported by the European Commission and providing technical support to CIS countries. TEMPUS promotes academic exchanges between universities in Europe and other universities around the world. TEMPUS aims to improve Russian institutions of higher education, student and teacher exchanges, and facilitates connections with officials from businesses and government bodies. Kazan State University has been a major participant in TEMPUS since 1993.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova