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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 1, 2004

1 June 2004
Tatarstan's Bakeries To Unite For Single-Market Policy
The Tatar government agreed on 31 May to form the United Bread Company to manage bakeries and preserve their independent status, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. The company was formed after Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov told his cabinet the same day that Tatarstan should have a single organization to represent the interests of the baking industry. He said there were not any organizations uniting the bread industry and working for a common market policy.

Aleksei Pakhomov, deputy premier and minister of economy and industry, agreed with Minnikhanov's call and spoke in favor of promoting a more corporate management of bread production as a way of attracting investment and minimizing taxes.

Meanwhile, Tatarstan maintains one of the lowest bread prices in the Volga Federal District, averaging $0.30 per loaf, which is 30 percent lower than in neighboring Samara Oblast. The state-controlled prices are said to be designed to aid those citizens in a lower-income bracket. At the same time, bread producers and local grain manufacturers complain that they are forced to operate with almost no profit.

Shaimiev Joins State Council Session In Moscow
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, joined a session of Russia's State Council Presidium on 31 May to discuss the sharing of powers between regional and federal governments, the presidential press service reported the same day. On 1 June, Shaimiev joined the regular State Council meeting, which talked about improving interaction between the federal and regional governments. At that meeting President Vladimir Putin and regional leaders discussed the federal law on the general principles of organizing the legislative and executive power branches in Russia's territorial entities.

Tatar And Bashkir Presidential Staff Heads Meet In Bashkortostan
The head of Tatarstan's presidential staff, Ekzam Gobeidullin, met with his Bashkir counterpart in the Ilesh region of Bashkortostan on 31 May, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. During the meeting, which was attended by a member of Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences, prominent historian Indus Tahirov, a member of Tatarstan's State Council presidium; well-known Tatar poet Robert Minnulin; the head of the social and political development department within the Bashkir presidential staff, Amir Yuldashbaev; the sides agreed on joint participation in celebrations marking Kazan's millennium anniversary in 2005 and the 250th anniversary of the birth of Bashkir national hero Salavat Yulaev.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Tatar, Bashkir Officials Continue Dialogue
Tatar presidential-administration head Eqzem Gobeidullin visited Bashkortostan's Ilesh Raion on 29 May to meet with his Bashkir counterpart Radii Khebirov, Tatarinform reported on 31 May. The sides decided to establish a working commission to develop measures on promoting cultural, scientific, and information exchanges between the peoples of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan under the friendship and cooperation treaty. Specifically, they discussed ways for republican delegations to participate in celebrations of the Kazan millennium and the 250th anniversary of Bashkir hero Salawat Yulaev. Tatarstan academician Indus Tahirov; Tatar State Council Presidium member Robert Minnullin; the head of the Bashkir presidential-administration's political department, Emir Yuldashbaev; and the director of the History, Language, and Literature Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Ufa Scientific Center, Ildus Ileshev, took part in negotiations.

Prosecutors Reject Court Chairman's Complaint
The Prosecutor-General's Office of Bashkortostan has rejected a motion by Bashkir Arbitration Court Chairman Fenil Safin against authorities' sealing of his office on 14 May, "Kommersant" reported on 31 May. Investigators seeking to question Safin sealed his office after they failed to find him in it. The Safin was authorized by the Russian Judges Supreme Qualifying Board at the request by the Prosecutor-General's Office after he was accused of corruption. Safin, when he appeared in his workplace, broke the seal, entered the office, and then appealed to the Bashkir Prosecutor-General's Office to investigate whether the sealing was legal. Now prosecutors, in turn, are investigating whether Safin legally removed the seal on the office. Speaking at a news conference on 28 May in Ufa, acting Bashkortostan prosecutor Mikhail Zelepukin said investigators are also working on several other instances in which misuse of power is suspected.

Son Of Baltic Fleet Admiral Accused Of Murder
Senior Lieutenant Yurii Konyshev, the son of Baltic navy base commander Rear Admiral Aleksandr Konyshev, has been accused of responsibility in the death of Bashkir Lieutenant Commander Pavel Mardan, who served on a Baltic Fleet destroyer, "Izvestia" reported on 1 June. Investigators believe Mardan was killed for refusing to bring alcohol to a group of officers that included sons of fleet admirals. The officers were serving on the destroyer in violation of an order by the Russian Defense Minister prohibiting children of high-ranking servicemen from working under the command of their parents.

Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov recently appealed to Baltic Fleet commander Vladimir Valuev to take investigation of Mardan's murder under personal supervision (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 18 May 2004). Mardan's mother Tamara told the daily that Valuev was the only official of the fleet who contacted her and her husband to apologize. Mardan's parents initially suggested that he died of epilepsy.

Rear Admiral Konyshev said he is sure his son was not responsible and added that he will not resign. In an interview with "Izvestia," Valuev said if the guilt of a suspect or suspects is proven, their fathers will also have to bear responsibility -- primarily moral.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova