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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 18, 1999

18 October 1999
Shaimiev Meets With Speaker Of Finnish Parliament
A delegation from Tatarstan headed by President Mintimer Shaimiev ended a two-day visit to Finland on 15 October, the presidential press center reported. Earlier that day, Shaimiev attended a session of the Finnish parliament and met with its speaker, Rita Uusokainen. During a meeting with the president of Finland, Maarti Ahtisaari, on 14 October, Shaimiev invited his counterpart to visit Kazan in May for the opening of a Finnish business forum in Tatarstan.

Vyakhirev Visits Kazan
Tatarstan's prime minister, Rustam Minnikhanov, and the head of the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, Rem Vyakhirev, signed a cooperation protocol in Kazan on 15 October, Tatar Television reported. According to the document, the storage of gas in Tatarstan will be completed next year. The Tatar side proposed to help in the installation of gas in Tatarstan's neighboring regions. It was also agreed at the meeting that Tatarstan's 2 billion ruble debt to Gazprom will be restructured. Vyakhirev mentioned during the negotiations a planned 15 percent rise in gas prices for consumers. Vyakhirev said that the extraction of gas continues to drop in Russia, and he added that it is necessary to convert to the greater usage of coal as a fuel. Gazprom is owed a total of 100 billion rubles from consumers throughout Russia. This year, Tatarstan managed to make timely payments for its gas deliveries and to increase its cash payments.

National Parties Mark Anniversary Of Kazan Conquest
Some 1,000 people participated in a meeting and march marking the anniversary of the conquest by Ivan the Terrible of the Kazan Khanate in 1552, Tatar Radio and Television reported. The meeting was organized by Tatarstan's nationalist movement, the Tatar Public Center, which appealed to Tatarstan's leaders asking them to officially recognize 15 October as a memorial day for those who perished during the capture of Kazan.

Republican Party Discusses Candidates
Tatarstan's Republican Party discussed its list of State Council deputies at an extraordinary congress in Kazan on 16 October, Tatar Television reported. It was agreed at the congress that the candidates from the party will subsequently be proposed at a congress of the republican movement Tatarstan -- New Century (Tatarstan -- Novyi Vek).

Toxic Substance Spilled In Railway Crash
More than 40 tons of a toxic substance polluted the environment as a result of a railway crash near Tuben Kama when two tank wagons derailed on 15 October, Tatar Radio and Television reported. The contaminated space is equal to about 80 square meters. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova