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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 7, 1998

7 December 1998
Tatar Prime Minister Comments On Republic's Debt
Premier Rustam Minnikhanov said on 4 December in Kazan that "we are now negotiating with the creditors and I think we'll manage to sign a formula for the restructuring of Tatarstan's debts." Minnikhanov said Tatarstan's total debt is now equal to about $400 million (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 3 December 1998). Minnikhanov said that total also includes several credits. He added, however, that Tatarstan "did not get any credits to spend on food over the last two years." The prime minister said that $400 million would not normally be too much for Tatarstan to repay, but that it was currently more difficult because of the crisis that has struck Russia's financial and banking sectors at a time when there is increased pressure to pay creditors. In November, the Tatar government failed to repay a $100 million credit from the Dutch bank ING Barings (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 30 November 1998).

Tatneft Issues New Securities
The Tatar oil company Tatneft has issued new securities worth 30 million rubles based on the production of 60,000 tons of petroleum, Tatarstan radio reported. The move is expected to greatly help the company's financial situation�Tatneft lost some $65 million dollars in short-term treasury bills (GKO's) and federal loan bonds after the 17 August economic crisis in Russia. In November, Tatneft began to sell "warrants," which give the owner the right of shipping on a certain quantity of petroleum. Tatneft officials expect the securities to increase its cash flow and broaden the possibilities of receiving credits based on the security of commodity production.

Number of Militiamen In Chally To Be Cut
The number of troops in Chally by the end of the year will be reduced by one-third, Tatar state radio reported. The Russian budget will cut financing for some 300 persons. Additionally, the Pravoporyadok (Order of Justice) fund has cut its subsidies by a similar amount. Overall, the staffs of law enforcement agencies will shed some 1,000 employees by the end of the year. The measure will mainly affect office workers, while the reduction in the number of patrolling officers will be negligible.

Human Rights Record In Russia And Tatarstan Discussed
An international conference devoted to the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights was held on 3-4 December in Kazan, Tatar media reported. Participants included the UN's Moscow representative, the UN representative on human rights in Russia, and Council of Europe representatives. Attendees discussed the problems of democracy and human rights and how the Russian and Tatar governments had adhered to international standards. It was noted that delays in the payments of salary and pensions showed that some principles of human rights were not being fully observed, Tatar media reported.

Compiled by G. Khasanova