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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 29, 2002


29 August 2002
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Congress Discusses Ways To Preserve Tatar Nation�
During the World Tatar Congress roundtable on Tatar Science, Education, and Culture on 28 August, Tatar Education Minister Faris Kharisov and Culture Minister Ildus Tarkhanov outlined recent achievements in developing Tatar schools in the republic and in promoting Tatar culture in some 30 subjects of the Russian Federation that recently signed special treaties with Tatarstan, respectively, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 29 August.

Other speakers at the roundtable, however, such as professor Abdulkhan Akhamzyan of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and State Council deputy and Tatar playwright Tufan Minnulin, spoke about the federal government's "increasing pressure on ethnic republics" and "refusal to develop federalism." In his speech, Minnulin said that "only Tatars can save their nation since Russia isn't interested [in saving the Tatar nation]."

Before ending the session, the roundtable adopted a resolution with proposals to establish federal and republican programs aimed at preserving and developing the Tatar nation.

�And To Protect Tatar Rights
Feusie Beiremova, head of the of the nationalist Ittifaq party, took part in the same roundtable where she suggested that the Tatar government establish a ministry in charge of ethnic policies, saying that such issues were not only for the public to deal with.

Beiremova also called on the most influential Tatars from throughout the world to create an international committee to defend Tatar rights, saying that violations of such rights are becoming more common and more serious.

Business Roundtable Suggests More Trade, Closer Cooperation
During the roundtable on Tatarstan's Business Partners at the World Tatar Congress on 28 August, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov, Minister of Economy and Industry Aleksei Pakhomov, and Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Khafiz Salikhov said that the Tatar government is seeking to increase trade within and beyond the Russian Federation with the help of Tatar communities outside Russia, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 29 August.

Shamil Ageev, head of the Tatar Chamber of Industry and Trade, asked roundtable participants to assist the republic in "choosing reliable partners." He also suggested that Russian State Duma deputies from Tatarstan help the development of business by suggesting new business-related laws in the Duma.

The roundtable adopted a resolution proposing that the World Tatar Congress and Tatar government create a program of state support for Tatar businessmen in Russia's regions and that they ensure closer cooperation between Tatarstan and other Tatar-populated areas.

Tatar Speaker Discusses Power-Sharing Issues In Moscow
Tatar State Council Chairman Ferit Mukhametshin met on 26 August with Dmitrii Kozak, deputy head of Russian presidential staff, and Larisa Bricheva, head of the legal department of the Russian presidency, to discuss possible amendments to the power-sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 28 August.

Speaking with reporters in Kazan upon his return on 28 August, Mukhametshin said the legal department of the Russian presidency will soon make an official comment concerning proposals made by Tatar legislators, which he said was a "positive move by the federal center toward understanding power-sharing issues."

Putin Due To Arrive In Kazan
Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to arrive in Kazan on the evening of 29 August, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. He is to meet with the heads of various delegations participating in the World Tatar Congress the next day at the Kremlin in Kazan. Later that same day, Putin will take part in a meeting of the committee organizing preparations for Kazan's 1,000th-anniversary celebrations in 2005. Following the meeting, the Russian president is to attend a trade fair called Tatarstan's Business Partners, and then he is to take part in Republic Day and Kazan Day celebrations.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
President Takes Part In Tatar Congress
Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov traveled to Kazan on 28 August where he was met by Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the next day. Shaimiev also took part in the plenary session of the World Tatar Congress on 29 August. While in Kazan, the Bashkir president also plans to take part in Tatarstan's Republic Day and Kazan Day festivities on 30 August, along with an official delegation including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

State Committee Levels Accusations At Bashspirt, Top Management
The Bashkir State Monitoring Committee announced on 28 August that Bashspirt, the republic's major alcohol producer, owes more than 900 million rubles ($28.6 million) in unpaid taxes and debts to its partners, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. The committee also revealed that many of the company's products were given away by management for "presentation purposes" without filing the proper expense reports. Bashspirt management was also accused of faulty accounting practices. In addition, the committee noted that several management officials had also purchased expensive cars and real estate.

President Requests Bashneft To Increase Output
At a meeting with the employees of Bashneft oil company in Ufa on 28 August, President Rakhimov tasked the company with increasing its annual output to 12 million tons of oil, which was welcomed by the workers, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 29 August. In recent years, the republic's annual oil production has been steady at 11.5 million tons. In the meantime, Bashneft has also increased its activities in eastern Siberia, extracting 1 million tons of oil over the past two years.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
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