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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 21, 1998

21 December 1998
Shaimiev Says U.S.-U.K. Strikes Against Iraq To Have 'Most Negative Consequences For Peace Keeping'
"I am sure that the [U.S.-British] attacks against Iraq were unnecessary both from the political and the military point of view," Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev told journalists. The strikes will have the "most negative influence" on efforts to keep and secure peace, he said, adding that the UN charter has been violated and the Russian-U.S. relations, which had been restored over the past few years with such difficulty, have been damaged. "The most important conclusion for us is that Russia should become a strong federal state to make its vote carry weight, he added.

Ninety enterprises To Be Privatized In Tatarstan In 1999
Some 90 enterprises in Tatarstan, one-third of of which are medium-sized or large, will be privatized in 1999, State Property Committee Chairman Damir Bikbov told a committee meeting on 18 December. Tatarstan Radio quoted Bikbov as saying nationalization of the republic's enterprises is out of the question. The course toward a market economy is irreversible, he added. In his words, next year's income from privatization is expected to total 358 million rubles. That sum should be channeled toward the development of industry, he argued.

Power Ministries To Order New KamAZ Automobiles
The interdepartmental commission of the KamAZ truck concern and Russia's power ministries (Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry, and the Federal Security Service) recommended that KamAZ's new military multifunctional Mustang vehicle be mass produced. Visiting the plant last week, the commission checked the results of tests of the vehicles. Russian Defense Ministry official Major General Aleksandr Yeliseev told Tatarstan Radio that the new trucks, which have a cargo capacity of 4 to 10 tons satisfy all the military's requirements. The commission will promote the power ministries to become KamAZ's largest customer, Yeliseev said.

Famous Kyrgyz Writer, Diplomat Receives Tatar Award
On 19 December in Brussels, Chingiz Aitmatov, who is the Kyrgyz ambassador to Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg as well as a well-known writer, received Tatarstan's highest award, the honorary diploma, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The diploma was conferred by Russia's permanent representative to the EU Vasilii Likhachev on behalf of Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev, Tatarstan media reported.

Europarliament Allocated 400 Million Ecu In Humanitarian Aid For Russia
Russia's permanent representative to the EU Vasilii Likhachev told Tatarstan Radio on 19 December that negotiations are being held on the EU's granting humanitarian aid to Russia. The European Parliament last week approved a 400 million ECU budget allocation that will be used for humanitarian aid to Russia, Likhachev said.

Compiled by G. Khasanova