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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 11, 2005

11 October 2005
Shaimiev Says Next Majority Party Will Form New Federal Government
Even though Unified Russia failed to form a new government after winning the 2003 State Duma elections, the next elections will reveal a majority party that will be capable of taking power at all levels, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told Interfax on 10 October. He insisted that the winner of the 2007 elections will have enough authority to put its representatives in the federal government and the regions, and will be able to bear full responsibility for the country's situation. This way, Shaimiev added, "we will obtain a real multiparty political system," which would indicate another step toward democracy.

Shaimiev Meets Sistema's Top Manager
President Shaimiev met with Vladimir Evtushenkov, chief executive of the Sistema financial group, on 10 October, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. Evtushenko reportedly arrived in the Tatar capital to discuss something he called "a new circle of projects representing mutual interests." He praised the republic's investment climate for being "clear and understandable." They reportedly discussed Sistema's possible real estate projects in Kazan and other Tatar cities, developing security and communication systems, as well as initiating joint pharmaceutical-industry projects. Sistema is also reportedly interested in joining the innovative projects of Kazan's Ideya venture projects center.

Families With Low Incomes To Benefit From World Bank
More than 7,700 families in Kazan living below the poverty level will get the total of 36.3 million rubles ($1.3 million) to be distributed by the city administration, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 10 October, quoting social security department head Tatiana Larionova. The subsidies were included in the $125 million loan from the World Bank for Kazan's social-infrastructure development. According to the terms of the loan, some $1.2 million more will be distributed to poor people in Kazan by the end of the year. The subsistence level of a working-age resident of Kazan is currently estimated at $88 per month.

TAIF Gets Another Long-Term Loan From Sberbank
Sberbank of Russia issued a 3.5 billion-ruble ($125 million) long-term loan to the petrochemical subdivision of the TAIF group, which is allegedly controlled by the family of President Shaimiev, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 10 October. The money will be used to purchase oil for processing at the TAIF NK company's refining facility in Tuben Kama.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

List Of Bashkortostan's Richest People Published
The independent website published on 8 October a list of Bashkortostan's 11 richest businessmen, with fortunes exceeding $50 billion. Ural Rakhimov, son of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov, tops the list at $1.5 billion. Ural Rakhimov controls through Bashkirskii Kapital large stakes in four Ufa oil refineries (the Ufa Oil Refinery, Novoil, Ufaneftekhim, and Ufaorgsintez), and Bashneft, Bashkirenergo, and Bashkirnefteprodukt.

Radik Soltanov follows Rakhimov with $380 million. Soltanov-controlled Kompaniya RIA owns leading stakes in Salavatsteklo, the Ufa Elastomeric Materials Plant, the Iskozh plant, and the Sotel cellular communications company.

Brothers Sergei and Aleksandr Veremeenko, who are involved in the banking sector (Central Commerce Bank), minerals, and semiconductors, are in third with $280 million.

Relif Safin, whose capital totals $270 million, owns the Kart-oil filling stations network in Bashkortostan as well as sugar plants in Moldova. Safin is also involved in investment business in the Baltic states and Moscow. Currently Safin is the Federation Council representative from Altai Republic.

Igor Izmestev, Bashkortostan's senator in the Federation Council, has $250 million's capital. Izmestev's company Korus possesses the Volga and Northwest shipping companies and a network of filling stations in Moscow.

Azat Qormanaev, former president of UralSib who currently is believed to live in Canada, reportedly has $220 million.

Rafael Jelilov, the president of the Trade-Industrial Syndicate Spektr, owns in Bashkortostan a minor stake in Bashkirnefteprodukt. Jelilov's major investments are currently in Tatarstan and Moscow.

Sergei Chernikov, general director and co-owner of Bashkirskaya khimiya and co-owner of the Moscow investment company Sovlink and the Alba Alyans bank, has a fortune of $150 million.

Ramil Bignov, the leader of Bashkortostan's united opposition, possesses controlling interest in Bashekonombank and is involved in diamond mining in Bashkortostan.

Bashkir State Assembly deputy Aleksei Shcherbatskii, with assets of $50 million, owns the REID company.

Another deputy in the Bashkir parliament, Aleksandr Antonov, is the president of the Dasko group, with a network of shops, restaurants, and wholesale market facilities, with a fortune of $50 million.

Interior Ministry Fighting Tax Crimes
Bashkir Interior Minister Rafail Divaev told a meeting of the ministry board on 7 October that 47 criminal cases on tax evasion have been filed so far this year, RosBalt reported the same day. All cases allegedly involve losses of 2 billion rubles' ($70.2 million) to the state, while 377 million rubles have been returned to the state in the course of the investigation.

Ratings Of Russian, Bashkir Presidents High In Bashkortostan
Russian President Vladimir Putin is approved of by 79.2 percent of Bashkortostan's residents, while 77.5 percent of residents approve of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov, "Moskovskii komsomolets v Ufe" reported on 10 October. The data come from an opinion poll held in September and October by the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies of the Ufa Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences of 1,050 residents in the republic. Sixty-two percent of respondents have "positive" or "more likely positive" opinions regarding the republican government while 44 percent took similar positions regarding the federal government.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova