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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 4, 1998

4 December 1998
Tatarstan's Foreign Trade Turnover Decreases In 1998
Tatarstan's State Statistics Committee report that foreign trade turnover in the first nine months of the year was worth $1.373 billion, an almost 15 percent decline from the same period last year. Fuel and energy resources led exports -- petroleum exports amount to 58 percent of total exports. Though there was a 26 percent increase in the amount of petroleum sold, its value declined by 7 percent compared to 1996 because of the worldwide fall in oil prices this year.

Tatarstan Branch of Otechestvo Movement Created
The regional branch of the Russian political movement Otechestvo, which is headed by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, held a meeting in Kazan on 3 December. The movement's charter was approved and its Political Council elected at the meeting. Several Tatar political parties and movements became founding members of Tatarstan's branch of Otechestvo, among them Tatarstan's Union of Labor, the Yedinstvo i Progress (Unity and Progress) party, Reformy -- novyi kurs (New Policy of Reforms), and Zhenshchiny Tatarstana (Women of Tatarstan). Farida Gainullina, chairwoman of Tatarstan's Trade Unions Federation, was elected chair of the Political Council, Tatar Radio reported.

Tatarstan's Government Can't Draft Budget Without A Deficit
Tatarstan's finance minister, Robert Musin, told a session of the State Council's Commission on Economic Development and Reforms on 3 December that the government could not draft the republic's budget without a deficit. Tatar-Inform reported that the budget deficit is expected to be 6 percent. According to the draft budget, the government will take in more than 18 billion rubles, and spend more than 13 billion rubles. Some 1.05 billion rubles will be allocated to service Tatarstan's state debt. Musin said Tatarstan's total debt is not $100 million, as has been reported, but $400 million.

Tatarstan Representative Elected To European Regions Council
The head of Tatarstan's presidential administration, Egzam Gubaidullin, was elected as a member of the Regions of Europe Assembly Bureau in Austria on 3 December, Tatar state media reported. Gubaidullin led a delegation from Tatarstan that attended a Regions of Europe conference Gubaidullin became the only representative from Russia's regions in the organization and will reportedly represent the interests of all the Russian regions.

Compiled by G. Khasanova