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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 19, 1999

19 November 1999
Tatarstan To Take In More Chechen Refugees
Tatarstan is experiencing serious difficulties accommodating refugees from Chechnya, the head of the republic's Immigration Service, Rishat Khairutdinov, told an RFE/RL correspondent on 18 November. Some 106 refugees have been officially registered in Tatarstan since August, but Khairutdinov said the actual figure is actually ten times that. A total of 1,600 Chechen refugees were registered in Tatarstan after the first war there began in 1994. Khairutdinov said recently that the Russian federal Immigration Service oblidged Tatarstan to accommodate 1,000 of the new refugees, and pledged to provide only 50 percent of the necessary funds. Khairutdinov told RFE/RL that neighboring republics received similar orders from Moscow, but "all of them will have to host 500 refugees each." Khairutdinov complained that the federal government did not consult Tatarstan's government before deciding on this issue.

Tatneft To Explore For Oil Deposits In Iraq
The Tatneft oil company signed a contract with an Iraqi oil company to explore a number of oil deposits and drill 45 oil wells in Iraq, the republican media reported on 18 November. The general-director of Tatneft, Shafagat Takhautdinov, told Tatarinform agency on 19 November that the contract was signed with the UN's permission.

KamAZ Selling Well In Northwest
Tatarstan's KamAZ automotive company representative in Russia's northwest, Aleksandr Kiryanov, told a press conference in St. Petersburg on 18 November that about 700 heavy trucks had been sold thus far in 1999. Kiryanov noted that the sales volume had already exceeded the total sales for 1998. Some 42 percent of the KamAZ heavy trucks and small-displacement vehicles sold in the northwestern part of the country were sold in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast.

Official: Power Stations Not Ready To Run On Gas
According to Tatarinform, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Gazprom chairman Rem Vyakhirev are considering switching Russia's power stations from coal to gas. The measure would reportedly help Gazprom boost gas exports and earn $1.5 billion in extra revenue. The chief engineer of Tatarstan's Tatenergo company, Aleksandr Chadayev, said on 18 November that only one of the nine major power stations in Tatarstan was able to run on gas. Chadayev emphasized that "the energy system of Tatarstan is not ready for the switch."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi