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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 18, 1998

18 December 1998
Tatarstan Oil Workers To Be Evacuated From Iraq
Tatarstan's oil industry workers will be evacuated from Baghdad to Oman because of the U.S.-British air strikes on Iraq. Tatarstan state television, citing Tatarstan representatives in Jordan, reported that no Tatarstan citizens have been injured in Iraq. Two groups of oil workers had arrived in the Baghdad offices of the Tatarstan oil company Tatneft on 10 December. Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev, commenting on the air strikes in an interview with Tatarstan television, said it is necessary to try to "make arrangements before the use of force."

Tatarstan To Continue Cooperation With RFE/RL
On 17 December, Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev met with RFE/RL President Tom Dine and Director of the RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service Ferit Agi to discuss prospects for cooperation between the U.S. broadcaster and the Tatarstan Radio and Television Company. The visitors expressed satisfaction with the joint activities of the two companies since RFE/RL opened a bureau in Kazan. A possible joint project to set up a new FM radio station was discussed. Tom Dine said RFE/RL broadcasting on short wave will never cease because those broadcasts are necessary for the Tatar Diaspora. However, the future of RFE/RL is in FM radio and the Internet, he said. The visitors were interested in the political and economic situation of Tatarstan as well as the social protection of the population during the financial crisis. The two sides extended a contract on the retransmission of RFE/RL broadcasts by Tatarstan Radio. And they also discussed the possible exchange of journalists and broadcasts.

Tatarstan Speaker Informs Swiss President About Tatarstan-Russia Relations
On 17 December in Moscow, Russian Federation Council Chairman Yegor Stroyev, Tatarstan State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin, and other Russian regional heads met with Swiss Confederation President Flavio Cotti to discuss the current state of federal relations in Russia, Tatarstan media reported. Mukhametshin informed Cotti about relations between Tatarstan and Russia, based on the inter-governmental treaty and the growth in the republic's independence, allowing it to realize its programs of socio-economic development and foreign trade.

KamAZ Signed Agreement With Russian Defense Ministry
On 17 December, the KamAZ truck company signed an agreement with the Russian Defense Ministry on the finished Mustang automobile, Tatarstan Television reported. At a meeting of the KamAZ Board of Directors on 17 December, it was decided to set up a new managing company at the plant. A new, consolidated 1999 business plan for the company as a whole and for its branches will be introduced by March. Measures to move over to cash payments in the sale of the Oka automobile were also discussed.

Interior Ministry Personnel Involved In Drug Abuse And Trafficking
Officials say Tatarstan Interior Ministry personnel have been involved in drug abuse and trafficking. Representatives of the Interior Ministry�s Personal Security Board told journalists on 16 December that five employees of the Interior Ministry agency in the town of Bogelme have been found to be trafficking in drugs. Legal proceedings have been instituted against them. In addition, several drug addicts have been reported at the Interior Ministry agency of Kazan's Soviet district.

Compiled by G.Khasanova