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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 2, 2004


2 September 2004
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Shaimiev Denounces Hostage Taking In North Ossetia
President Mintimer Shaimiev told reporters on 1 September in reference to the hostage crisis in North Ossetia that it is unacceptable to attempt to resolve problems by placing children�s lives in jeopardy, no matter how critical the issue is, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported. Shaimiev said the downing of two Russian airliners on 24 August, the 31 August bombing near a Moscow metro entrance, and the hostage taking are "inhumane."

He said he "hopes the children's lives will be spared," adding that "unfortunately, we are getting used to such acts of terror."

Tatar Schools Open New Year With Lessons On Human Rights
Schoolteachers in Tatarstan devoted their first lessons to human rights and ways of protecting them, Tatarinform reported on 1 September. Students were informed about the UN Children�s Rights Convention, which declares the priority of children's interests in society and the equality of children's rights with those of adults. Tatar schools reportedly plan to continue human rights education programs in the future.

Tatneft Pledges Funds Toward Housing Program
Tatneft General Director Shefeget Takhautdinov said on 1 September that the company will contribute $40 million to Tatarstan�s presidential program to replace dilapidated housing in 2004, Intertat reported.

Prior to 2000, the republic used to impose a 1 percent tax for a housing fund. After the tax was abolished due to a federal initiative, the fund depended entirely on contributions from the republic's major enterprises.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Bashkir Trade Unions Prepare For Fall Demonstrations
The leadership of Bashkortostan's Trade Unions Federation is currently discussing the collective protest demonstration to be held this fall in accordance with the resolution of the council of Volga Federal District's trade-union association, an RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 1 September.

The association and the Bashkir unions are questioning the financial sufficiency of monetary compensations offered by the federal government in exchange for the former system of in-kind social benefits. According to the association, the federal government has never paid what it should according to the federal laws on subsidies, while 80 percent of the regions that have been assigned to cover 50 percent of the support for the needy are not economically self-sufficient.

Bashkortostan's unions reportedly agreed to step up promotional activities to increase the number of workers to participate in the protest meetings and pickets.

Bashkortostan, Brazil Acknowledge Plans Of Mutual Cooperation
Following the 31 August-1 September visit of a Brazilian delegation to Bashkortostan, Russian-Brazilian Council of Business Cooperation co-Chairman Markus Pratini de Moraes and Bashkir Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov signed an agreement on the need to expand mutual cooperation in the machinery, metal, petrochemical, energy and food industries as well as the agricultural sector, Bashinform reported on 1 September.

They also agreed to prepare a cooperation treaty between Bashkortostan and one of Brazil's states and consider the possibility assembling Massey Ferguson tractors in the republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
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