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Tatneft edges towards the precipice

The company's finances are under severe strain, as its resources are drained off to prop up an ailing local economy

A systemic banking crisis in the Russian republic of Tatarstan is stretching the finances of Tatneft, the country's fifth-largest oil producer, to the limit. The government of the semi-autonomous region is forcing Tatneft to bail out non-core assets, such as banks, as Russia struggles to cope with western sanctions and emerge from a two-year recession caused by a decline in energy prices. Oil and petrochemicals are the bedrock of the economy of Tatarstan, located 800km east of Moscow. Since the establishment of the mainly Muslim republic in 1990, Tatneft has been its economic backbone and effectively its cash cow. The company provides about 40% of the republic's budget revenue and plays a

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