Rais of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov: "Tatarstan is doing a lot of hard work on investment cooperation with the Islamic world"

Rais of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov: "Tatarstan is doing a lot of hard work on investment cooperation with the Islamic world"

- KazanForum is a unique event, which has no analogues in Russia. We are grateful to our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for the fact that the forum has acquired federal status.

The main goal of the forum is to expand the interaction of our country with Muslim states. The development of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the Islamic world is one of the priorities identified by the country's leadership. We consider this forum as an important component of the great work carried out by the Strategic Vision Group "Russia - the Islamic World", headed by me since 2014.

KazanForum reveals really new and urgent areas of work. For example, the halal industry, which has been developing at a good pace in recent years and where there is still much to be done and studied. This is the topic of partner banking - we are actively working on this issue, both with the federal center and with partners in Islamic countries.

These are, of course, issues of logistics and international transport corridors, the relevance of which began to increase significantly during the pandemic, and in the light of today's global changes, they have special priorities.

The forum will be attended by guests and speakers from CIS countries, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. We expect that the forum will be attended by the leadership of the Russian Federation, representatives of federal authorities, heads of Russian regions, ambassadors of the OIC countries.

- How much has Tatarstan's role in establishing and maintaining diplomatic ties between Russia and the countries of the Islamic world grown against the background of the current difficult situation? Which areas are your priorities? What new partners have appeared in the list of importing countries?

- Cooperation with the Islamic world has always been one of the main elements of the republic's foreign economic and international activities, and in the current conditions it has become even more important. The main directions are our fraternal CIS member countries, the Arab world, Iran, Turkey, and the states of Southeast Asia. Through cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the activities of the Russia- Islamic World Strategic Vision Group and the holding of major forums, the republic manages not only to remain recognizable in the Islamic world, but also to increase the pace of cooperation.

The priority area of cooperation is the development of trade and economic cooperation. Tatarstan, as an export-oriented region, is ready to offer the widest range of industrial and agricultural products. The CIS accounts for about half of the trade turnover with the countries of the Islamic world, but over the past year the volume of trade with non-CIS countries has grown almost 2 times. The leaders in the growth of trade turnover included the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Morocco, the volume of trade with which increased by more than 100 times.

We pay special attention to investment cooperation. There are not as many investment projects with the Islamic world today as we would like, but at the same time, a very large and painstaking work is being carried out in this direction.

- At the beginning of November 2022, you met with the Pope in Bahrain. Do you intend to keep in touch with the pope? Are you planning a visit to him in the Vatican?

- In November 2022, I took part in the Bahrain Forum dedicated to the topic of dialogue between religions. Within the framework of this forum, my meeting with Pope Francis took place. During the meeting, we discussed issues of contact between cultures, faiths and civilizations. I told about the successes of Tatarstan in the formation of a society of Christian-Islamic harmony.

The Pope is not only a religious, but also a political and social leader. His authority in the world is indisputable. We will be glad to maintain and develop contacts with the Vatican.

- According to the results of the last All-Russian census, the number of Tatars decreased by almost 600 thousand people. What does this have to do with, in your opinion?

- Yes, there is a discussion about the census in society, especially in national communities: they argue about the methodology, about the errors associated with the digitalization of the census; they count the number of citizens who did not indicate their nationality (how many were not counted, and not only Tatars); They are "looking for" Russians, Tatars and representatives of other nationalities in those more than 16 million Russian citizens who did not indicate their nationality.

The results of these discussions and the identification of possible shortcomings will be useful in preparing for the next census.

There are more Tatars in Tatarstan. But there are fewer of them in other regions. What is the reason for this? Only scientists and specialized specialists can give a qualitative assessment. Such an analysis, as far as I know, is being carried out.

The main conclusion for us is that we must do everything so that those who have marked themselves as Tatars can continue to preserve their identity, language, culture and pass them on to the next generations.

- You head the board of directors of Tupolev, which will deliver the first serial Tu-214 to the Tatarstan airline YUVT Aero. When are the first firm contracts with other Tu-214 customers expected: Aeroflot, Red Wings and other airlines? How much are these transactions valued at?

- We see that with the departure of large foreign companies in the Russian market, niches are being freed up, opening up new prospects for domestic engineering, including in the field of aircraft construction. It is worth noting that the Kazan Aviation Plant has never stopped producing the Tu-214. Serial production has been established at the enterprise, the entire technological cycle has been built. We are talking about the hobby of output volumes.

The process of expanding production has been launched, taking into account the planned volumes. This includes, among other things, the renewal of the machine park, the purchase of new high-performance equipment, the manufacture and installation of stand-in slipway assembly equipment, increasing the capacity of the final assembly line, retrofitting the flight test station. To increase the volume of production of Tu-214 aircraft, a set of engineering and technical specialists and main production workers is underway.

A pool of customers is being formed now. In particular, the Tatarstan air carrier "YUVT Aero" plans to purchase 4 cars. A contract has also been signed for the supply of 11 Tu-214 aircraft to Aeroflot in accordance with the passport of the investment project approved by the government order. The aircraft customer is the leasing company Aviacapital-Service.

The planes of the first batch are planned to be delivered in a standard design. The specific configuration of aircraft is discussed by the manufacturer directly with the future operator.

In the future, it is planned to increase production capacity and reach the production rate of 10 aircraft per year with the possibility of further increasing production to 20 aircraft per year. Several batches of aircraft will be put into production in parallel to meet the needs of both government and commercial customers.

- At the board of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Tatarstan in February 2023, the General Director of PJSC Kazanorgsintez, Airat Safin, asked you to support the initiative to increase the capacity of ethane production at the helium plant of PJSC Gazprom in Orenburg for the needs of Kazanorgsintez. How is the dialogue with Gazprom on this issue going? Does Gazprom support the project to increase the capacity of ethane production?

- Providing support to the enterprises of our republic, especially in matters of their further development, will always be a priority for us. Kazanorgsintez is one of the leading enterprises of the chemical industry in Russia and a strategically important production complex for Tatarstan. It was from this enterprise that the history of the petrochemical industry of the republic began 60 years ago.

Today Kazanorgsintez is integrated into the structure of PJSC SIBUR Holding, with which we are actively working on the implementation of the company's investment projects in the republic.

Providing Kazanorgsintez with ethane is one of the key issues for increasing production volumes. The real demand for ethane is about 780 thousand tons per year. In 2022, about 580 thousand tons of ethane fraction were obtained, this year 550 thousand tons are planned. The main suppliers are the Orenburg Helium Plant of Gazprom PJSC and the Minnibaevsky Gas Processing Plant of Tatneft.

At the same time, the increase in the supply of ethane to Kazanorgsintez is primarily due to the capacity of the main ethane pipeline "Minnibaevo - Kazan", commissioned back in 1973. In September 2022, Gazprom Transgaz Kazan, in order to increase the volume of ethane transportation through the main ethane pipeline Minnibaevo - Kazan, developed a safety justification for the facility to increase productivity from the design 480 thousand to 550 thousand tons per year without deviation from existing technical parameters.

A further increase in the volume of ethane supply to the enterprise through the specified ethane pipeline is possible only after its reconstruction (replacement of pipes with a diameter of 530 mm with pipes with a diameter of 720 mm), which allows to increase the throughput. We are conducting relevant work on this issue with Gazprom PJSC and SIBUR Holding PJSC.

In the near future, within the framework of a working group with SIBUR LLC, we plan to prepare decisions on land, property and urban planning issues related to the limitations of the development of these pipelines and affecting the development of Kazanorgsintez capacities, as well as on the current operation of these assets owned by SIBUR Holding PJSC in the Republic of Tatarstan and enterprises located in the contour of PJSC Gazprom.

We keep this issue under control and will provide comprehensive support for its solution and further growth of production of PJSC Kazanorgsintez and the implementation of investment projects.

Source: Interfax-Russia