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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 11, 2003

11 February 2003
Presidential Envoy Urges Continuation Of Legal Harmonization
The presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, Sergei Kirienko, told a meeting of district prosecutors in Nizhnii Novgorod on 10 February that there is not a single federation subject in the district in which local legislation is not subordinate to federal legislation. Kirienko, added, however, that the work on the harmonization of regional legislation with federal legislation is not complete, saying that if the harmonization process were stopped, laws contradicting federal legislation would once again appear in the regions.

TIU In Chally Sends Appeal To Putin
The head of the Tatar Public Center (TIU) in Chally, Rafis Kashapov, has sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin with an appeal to stop the war in Chechnya, to put an end to the spread of anti-Islamic propaganda, and not to continue with plans to introduce the subject of Orthodox culture in Russian schools, reported on 10 February. In the letter, Kashapov compared the current situation in Russia with the forced baptisms and enslavement of people that occurred in the 16th century. The letter also calls on Russia to recognize the multiethnic nature of the country and the rights of numerically small peoples.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Deputy Prosecutor-General Criticizes Bashkir Subordinate For Inaction
Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General in charge of the Volga Federal District Sergei Gerasimov told a 10 February meeting of his subordinates in Nizhnii Novgorod that 2,500 pieces of regional legislation have been challenged by district prosecutors in the last two years and 93 percent of them have since been brought into conformity with federal law, RosBalt reported he same day. Gerasimov emphasized that some of the prosecutors concentrated on reporting high numbers of challenges filed against general regional laws, but "not reacting to the really important violations." "For example," he said, "Bashkortostan's prosecutor for three months now has been deliberating on whether the norms of the republic's constitution comply with federal legislation, while at the very first glance it was clear that there will be issues" to be discussed about it. The latest, third edition of the Bashkir Constitution came into force in early December 2002 and has so far not been challenged by the republic's chief prosecutor.

Gerasimov also mentioned the list of Volga Federal District regions successfully coping with legal harmonization, including Marii El, Tatarstan, Udmurtiya, and Chuvashiya republics, and Penza and Ulyanovsk oblasts. He said as many as 115,000 pieces of legislation adopted in the district's regions in the last decade have yet to be checked for their conformity with federal laws

Flu Epidemic Strikes Bashkortostan
More than 10,000 residents in the Bashkir capital Ufa, which has a population of over 1 million, are currently infected with influenza, Zoehre Shagieva, the head of the epidemic department in the republican State Sanitary Epidemic Monitoring, told an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent on 10 February. Fifty-three percent of some 20,000 people currently infected with flu in Bashkortostan are children under 14.

Inflation Up In Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan's State Statistics Committee announced on 10 February that the consumer price index in the republic rose 2.3 percent in January 2003, Bashkir State Radio reported the same day.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi