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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 13, 1999

13 September 1999
Tatarstan To Continue Cooperation With Nepal
Tatarstan has fulfilled a contract signed in December for the delivery of helicopters to the Nepal Royal Army, Tatar Television reported. Mikhail Tikhonov, a representative of Tatarstan's branch of the Russian arms exporting company Rosvooruzheniye, said in an interview with Tatar Television on 11 September that Nepal military pilots can fly the Kazan-made helicopters at an altitude of 6,000 meters, something they couldn't do before. It was also reported that negotiations were held with Nepal military officials on the prospect of other defense industry deliveries to Nepal.

Agreement On Romashkino Oil Deposit Being Readied
Tatarstan's presidential advisor on oil, Renat Muslimov, said a draft agreement on the exploitation of the Romashkino oil deposit--under the Moscow-Kazan agreed upon conditions on the division of production--will be sent to the Russian Fuel and Energy Ministry on 15 September. Muslimov held a press conference in Kazan on 9 September to comment on the drafting of the document. Muslimov said that under Tatarstan's proposals, 100 percent of the royalties, 50 percent of the value-added tax, and 19 percent of the profit tax should remain in the republican budget. Muslimov added that the issue of the project's future investors continues to be controversial. The chairman of the republican Production Division Commission, First Deputy Prime Minister Ravil Muratov, said that Tatarstan's oil company Tatneft cannot be the only investor in the project because it has a large external debt. He said that its Western creditors should also become investors by converting Tatneft's debts into investment interests. According to Muslimov, Tatneft will definitely be an investor because it owns the work license for Romashkino. But, Muslimov said, it may become an investor only after a restructuring of its debt and the creation of a special department in its structure responsible for operations at Romashkino.

State Council To Appoint Duma Electoral Committees
The formation of district electoral committees for Russian State Duma elections will begin at the next session of Tatarstan's State Council on 15 September, Tatar Radio reported. The organization of the electoral committees will be held according to federal law. At the session, half of the members for the committees will be nominated. The State Council is currently receiving suggestions on candidates for the committees. State Duma elections are to be held in December.

Bashkortostan Officials Suspected Of Bribery
Police arrested the manager of the Russian Pension Fund in Bashkortostan, Minnefargat Valiev, on suspicion of bribery, Bashinform reported on 12 September. Earlier, another official in that department, subdivision head Pavel Pesterev, was also detained on suspicion of taking bribes. The Special Affairs Department of Bashkortostan's Prosecutor's Office reported that VAliyev was given 350,000 rubles in order to permit the sale of 2 million rubles worth of products from a company that was a in debt to the Pension Fund. For a similar permit, Pesterev allegedly received 200,000 rubles from the director of the same firm.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova