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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kremlin, KamAZ Set Deal for Tax Payment

The Kremlin said Tuesday it would remove giant truckmaker KamAZ from a blacklist of tax debtors destined for bankruptcy court in exchange for a payment of 51 billion rubles ($9.3 million) in back taxes.

But officials said bankruptcy procedures were formally launched against three other companies as part of the government's new program to get tough with corporate tax dodgers.

The KamAZ deal was worked out in Kremlin talks between presidential chief of staff Anatoly Chubais and Tatarstan republic President Mintimer Shaimiyev, Interfax reported. Shaimiyev met earlier in the day with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

KamAZ is one of Tatarstan's biggest companies, and Shaimiyev had threatened to ignore any federal action against the company if his administration did not agree with it.

President Boris Yeltsin's new emergency tax commission initially said KamAZ owed 86 billion rubles in back taxes. It was not clear how the 51 billion-ruble settlement was reached, though the government said KamAZ had submitted documentation of a tax exemption it had received from March until September following a fire at its motor plant.

Earlier Tuesday, the Federal Bankruptcy Board said it had started bankruptcy procedures against three other companies on its list of tax debtors: the Krasnodarnefteorgsintez refinery, the Achinsk alumina plant and the troubled Moscow carmaker Moskvich.

Pyotr Mostovoi, director of the bankruptcy agency, also said officials would launch bankruptcy procedures against at least seven other companies for tax arrears, and planned to start scrutinizing the books of a dozen other major firms.

Interfax quoted Shaimiyev as saying the Tatar side "has shown proof that KamAZ is solvent" and owed the government only about 50 billion rubles.

He said he did not expect the company to have any problems coming up with the payment.

He stated that "hasty actions" by the government and reports about KamAZ's alleged insolvency had "inflicted temporary damage" on the company's reputation among foreign banks -- including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development -- that have financed loans to the carmaker.

?The deputy director of Russia's Federal Bankruptcy Agency will be tried on charges of taking bribes, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Pyotr Karpov was arrested July 25 and accused of accepting a 5 million-ruble bribe from a Saratov electronics company in 1994.

The Associated Press cited an Itar-Tass report that police have completed their investigation, and that Karpov would be tried on the bribery charges.

Karpov, who last year spearheaded the government's efforts to force Russia's biggest tax debtors to pay what they owed, was released on bail this week.