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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 16, 2005

16 May 2005
Glazev Warns Of Ethnic Separatism In Russia
The head of the For A Decent Life party, Sergei Glazev, told a two-day scientific conference on "Topical Issues Of Russia's Development" that opened on 13 May that "ethnic separatists in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Yakutiya, the Far East, and Kaliningrad might take the control over Russia" as a result of Moscow's declining power over the regions, "Kommersant" reported the next day. The conference -- organized by Motherland, the Communist Party, and Glazev's movement -- focused on purported attempts by the central government to secure its grip over the country.

Social Issues Could Complicate Local Self-Government Elections
This year's elections to the bodies of local self-government in Tatarstan's cities and regions "will be characterized by uneasy debates in the complicated political and economic background caused by the recent social reforms, including monetization," Tatarstan's State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin told a seminar on self-government reform in Kazan on 14 May. Mukhametshin urged incumbent officials of self-government to "prevent" the possible entry of those exploiting the population's discontent with monetization to elected self-government bodies. In response to a recent statement by First Deputy Prime Minister Rawyl Moratov suggesting that the staff of self-government bodies should be reduced to a single individual, Mukhametshin insisted that attempts to reduce the current staff of 3,119 self-government officials are without merit.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Court Rules That Privatization Of Bashneft And Bashkirenergo Was Illegal
Bashkortostan's Arbitration Court has ruled that the privatization of Bashneft and Bashkirenergo was illegal, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 13 May. The court studied the legality of the 2003 handover of the two companies' shares under the management of the Bashkirskii Kapital Company, which is controlled by President Murtaza Rakhimov and his son Ural. The court ruled that the shares are to be returned to the state (see RFE/RL's "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 13 May 2005) and that the Rakhimovs are to return 63.7 percent of Bashneft's shares and 100 percent of Bashkirenergo's shares.

Tatar Rights Movement Plans Congress In June
The Tatar Civic Union organization in Bashkortostan is planning to hold a congress on 22 June to discuss Tatar rights in the republic, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 13 May. Some 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the congress, as only 150 of them managed to attend a recent congress held in Moscow.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi