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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 1, 2003


1 December 2003
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Tatarstan Resumes Tire Contract With Iraq
Tatneft will resume its suspended deliveries of car tires to Iraq, the company's press service announced on 29 November. Tatarstan's biggest producer has negotiated with UN agencies on extending the tire contracts signed between Tuben Kama Tire Company (Nizhnekamskshina) and the former Iraqi government. Before the war in Iraq, contracts worth more than 4 million euros were authorized by the UN's oil-for-food program, but combat put the deal in peril. Under the most recent agreement with the UN, Tatneft will begin implementing the contracts in 2004.

Omsk-Avia To Buy Four Tu-214s From Kazan
Omsk-Avia airlines General Director Yevgenii Romanyuk, visiting Kazan on 28 November, confirmed that in 2005-07 his company will buy four Tu-214 medium-capacity airliners from the Kazan Gorbunov Aircraft Plant (KAPO), RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. The Kazan-made aircraft will be used on Omsk-Avia's flights to Europe, Egypt, and Thailand.

This year KAPO has already signed a contract for assembling four of its planes for Moscow's Aviast airlines, something that will allow the plant's management to boost annual production up to 10 aircraft.

Federal Official Praises Tatar Press For 'Healthy Conservatism'
The chief executive of the national "Pressa-2004" exhibition, Mikhail Nenashev, told Intertat on 29 November that in his opinion, Tatarstan's press "practices healthy and progressive conservatism, based on continuity, tradition, and traditional development. Tatar journalists regard a kindhearted and attentive attitude to the people as their priority, something that many modern newspapers and magazines lack."

Chally Still Leads Tatarstan's HIV Blacklist
According the Chally health-care department, there are currently 6,315 HIV carriers in Tatarstan, about 1,000 of them in that city, Kama-press reported on 28 November. In most cases, carriers in Chally were infected by sexual intercourse and use of drugs from infected syringes. Also, 30 HIV-positive mothers have given birth and passed the infection to their babies in the last two years. In general, there are about 120 new cases of HIV infection in Chally every year.

Also on 28 November, the local anti-AIDS and HIV Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. The center, along with municipal health-care and law-enforcement departments, says that in Chally some 5,000 drug addicts and prostitutes are threatened by infection.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Swiss Air Traffic Control Service Agrees On Compensation Sum
Relatives of the 12 crew members of a Bashkir Airline's Tu-154 that collided in July 2002 with a DHL Boeing-757 cargo jet over southern Germany (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 2 July 2002) will be paid between $100,000 and $300,000 each in compensation, ITAR-TASS reported on 28 November. An agreement was signed the previous day in Zurich by lawyers of the Swiss Skyguide air traffic control service that controlled the jets during the collision and those representing the crew members' relatives. The compensation payments are determined according to the crew member's income and family status. For their part, the relatives of the victims agreed that they will not bring new financial claims against Skyguide. Yulia Fedotova, who is coordinating the defense of the passengers' families, told RosBalt on 28 November that no agreement has yet been reached. Fedotova said the Swiss and German governments have suggested that the relatives be paid "trifling" sums in compensation for psychological damage, while they do not intend to compensate for material damage at all.

Ballot Papers To Be Reprinted In Bashkortostan
Russian Central Election Commission (TsIK) Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov told a press conference on 28 November that the Bashkir Central Election Commission must reprint the entire print run of electoral ballots for both the Bashkir presidential and State Duma elections on 7 December, RosBalt and other news agencies reported the same day. Veshnyakov said TsIK members concluded that the color and quality of the paper are not good enough. Veshnyakov said, "the entire 3 million print run may have to be reprinted." He added that persons guilty of negligence would be punished. Citing another reason for the reprint, the ballots were printed before presidential candidate Sergei Veremeenko, a board member of Mezhprombank, was registered as a candidate. New ballots will also include another candidate for the Bashkir president, Aleksandr Arinin.

Opposition Candidates Complain To Federal Bodies About Election Provocations...
Fourteen candidates for the Bashkir presidential and State Duma elections appealed on 29 November to Russian Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, First Deputy Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev, and Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev to protest the actions of the republican government in the runup to the 7 December presidential elections, bashkir.ru reported the same day. The list of signatories include presidential candidates Veremeenko and Khesen Idietullin and 12 candidates for the State Duma.

The authors claimed that the republic's authorities and law enforcement bodies have not done enough to investigate a 5 November explosion that killed two people in Ufa. They said that the presidential administration of President Murtaza Rakhimov has blamed the rivals of the president for the explosion without any evidence. The authors said they also have information about a plan to organize "another act of terrorism -- an explosion of an automobile in a crowded place," which is aimed at intimidating people before the elections and providing ground for blaming the opposition for destabilizing the situation in the republic. They have demanded that preventative measures be taken to remove the threat of political provocations and crimes and call on federal law enforcement bodies to take control of the situation in Bashkortostan.

...As Veremeenko Fears For His Life
Presidential candidate Veremeenko appealed on 29 November to Russian Prosecutor-General Ustinov about the "intolerable and dangerous situation" in Bashkortostan, bashkir.ru reported the next day. Veremeenko said he has grounds to fear for his safety. He said the electoral campaign in the republic is characterized by violations of electoral legislation and arbitrary rule, in which the Bashkir Central Election Commission and raion courts are involved. He said acting President Rafael Baidavletov and other officials have openly accused the opposition of being behind the 5 November explosion without any proof. Veremeenko said that there is evidence to suggest that the republican government are themselves behind the explosion. Veremeenko warned that further provocations may take place in the republic. He called on the prosecutor-general "to pay special attention to the developments in Bashkortostan."

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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