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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 15, 1999

15 September 1999
Security Stepped Up In Tatarstan
Greater security has been introduced at all Kazan defense industry firms in connection with the recent bombings in Moscow, Tatar television reported. A regional anti-terrorist committee meeting was attended by Tatarstan's premier, Rustam Minnikhanov, Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shvetsov, and officials from the Interior Ministry and Customs Office on 14 September. Ensuring security for Tatarstan's population and republican enterprises was the main topic of the meeting. Meanwhile, two bomb threats were received by Kazan authorities on the same day, as explosive devices were reported to be set in a private home and in a Kazan market. No bombs were found at either location.

Defensive President Shaimiev Awaiting 'Apology' From British Daily
In an interview with Interfax, Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, said he was displeased by a recent article in the British daily the "Financial Times." Tatarstan's "Vremya I Dengi" newspaper published the Shaimiev interview on 14 September. In it, the president said the article cast a shadow over Tatarstan and that he was "awaiting a public apology from the newspaper as soon as possible...otherwise I will file charges against them." Shaimiev insisted that the article interfered in the Tatar government's relations with the Tatneft oil company. "Relations inside the republic are transparent, but no one [from the outside] has the right to interfere [in them]," he said. He noted that Tatarstan's government owned the "golden package of shares" in Tatneft, "but there was no use connecting such facts with [an allegation of] some kind of pressure [being put] on Tatneft by republican authorities." Commenting on the transactions between Tatneft and the republican government, Shaimiev said that Tatneft was "among the republic's creditors and Tatarstan was paying its share in the company's foreign debts." President Shaimiev also emphasized that "the cost of support from Tatarstan to Tatneft exceeds the loans taken from the company." Shaimiev stated that $900 million of Tatarstan's reported total foreign debt in the article was inaccurate because "$300 million of it represented the cost of Tatneft's Eurobonds," which are still not due.

Shaimiev said that "Tatarstan is not in default with its foreign debt," and said that currently the republic is settling the terms of paying a $100 million debt to the ING Barings bank." Shaimiev admitted that his son, Radik, was a member of the Tatneft board of directors, but only at the request of the TAIF company (TAIF owns shares in Tatneft). He said that his son was invited and is a "very well-prepared manager."

Shaimiev acknowledged that "figures in the article were correct," but were presented in a...biased way." He said the article's aim is to put more pressure on Tatarstan's and Tatneft's negotiations on foreign loans.

Shaimiev Regulates Financing Of Agro-industrial Complex
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, signed decrees on 14 September regulating the financing of the agrarian-industrial complex and employment policies in Tatarstan, Tatar Radio reported. According to the first decree, the Tatar Agrarian and Industrial Bank will be used for the financing and crediting of the agricultural sector in the republic. The other order decrees that local authorities and republican officials should coordinate the appointing of administrative officials.

Ufa Residents To Pay For Public Transport
Fares will be collected on public transport in Bashkortostan's capital of Ufa beginning on 15 September, Russian radio reported. The decision was made by the Ufa city council two days earlier. Ufa residents have not paid fares on public transport for the last three years, when a special tax was levied on the financing of transport. In March, Bashkortostan's State Assembly abrogated the transport tax, which equaled 1 percent of the salaries of the city's inhabitants.

KamAZ Repays Credit
The KamAZ truck concern repaid--ahead of schedule--a 115 million ruble credit received last year from the republican government for renovation of its production lines, Tatar-inform reported. KamAZ also fulfilled an order for the Ministry of Agriculture and Foodstuffs that delivered 2.5 million rubles' worth of trucks, engines, and spare parts to the ministry. The deputy general-director of KamAZ in charge of sales, Anatolii Samarenkin, told Tatar-inform that a program of cooperation with the Tatselkhoztekhnika agriculture equipment company has been agreed to. Under the agreement, KamAZ will deliver 47 million rubles' worth of trucks and spare parts to the republic's food producers by the end of the year.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova and Iskender Nurmi