NOKIA, Finland (Feb. 19)—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. and Amtel Holdings Co. of Russia have agreed to make snow tires for the Russian market this winter at an as-yet-undisclosed Russian factory. The contract calls for the production of 200,000 Nordman-brand tires this year, Nokian said, and will be expanded gradually to cover summer tires as well. "This is the first and important step for Nokian Tyres in its objective to establish itself as a tire manufacturer in the strategically important and growing market area," President and CEO Kim Gran said in a prepared statement. This is Nokian's second attempt at a Russian manufacturing venture. In 1998 the firm evaluated a "strategic partnership" with Yaroslavl Tyre Plant P.L.C., but later abandoned the plan after an ownership change at the Russian tire maker.