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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 20, 2002

20 September 2002
Official Says Census Agencies To Use Nationalities List
The chairman of the Tatar State Statistics Committee, Valerii Kandilov, told a press conference in Kazan on 19 September that the committee had not received any lists of nationalities to use during the national census in October, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 20 September. He said that residents will be able to identify themselves however they choose, but, he said, the federal agencies collating the census data will use a nationalities list when processing the results (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 30 August and 19 March 2002 and "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Review," 12 September 2002). Preliminary census results indicating the number of male and female residents of Tatarstan are expected to be announced by 1 January 2003, while the complete results will be published in 1 1/2 to two years.

Prime Minister Meets With Information-Technology Officials
Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met with officials from IBM East Europe-Asia, Tekhnoserv A/S, and Intertrust computer companies on 19 September, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day.

IBM and Intertrust were responsible for the expected launching an electronic document-exchange system for the Tatar government, including in particular for the presidential staff, the cabinet, and the Health Ministry. Tekhnoserv A/S has expressed interest in expanding the government's information network in order decrease the amount of time needed for the government to complete its activities.

Minnikhanov said at the meeting that Tatarstan will be one of the first regions in Russia to introduce an electronic document-exchange system for state bodies within the federal Electronic Russia program.

Russia's State Transport Company Receives First Tu-214
The Rossiya state transport company recently received the first of two Tupolev 214 aircraft that it had ordered from the Kazan Aircraft Plant (KAPO), "Vremya i dengi" reported on 20 September. A second Tu-214 is expected to be produced for Rossiya by the end of this year, with two more to be delivered in 2003.

So far, Russia's Dalavia airlines is the only company to use KAPO's Tu-214.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Legislative Speaker Discusses State Structure
Bashkir State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev said at a briefing in Ufa that the best state structure for Russia is a parliamentary republic, RosBalt reported on 19 September. Tolkachev said that the institution of presidency is good when a state is going through a reform process and needs to react quickly to changing conditions, but he added that Russia has already passed that stage.

Federal laws, however, prevent Russia from becoming a parliamentary republic, Tolkachev said. The legislative speaker said that a 1999 federal law on the executive and legislative bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation deprived local regional parliaments of the right to form the executive branch of government. Tolkachev added that the federal law in question called for individual heads of federation subjects who were directly elected by the population and had the powers of the head of the executive branch of government. In defining the status of a head of a federation subject.

The speaker added that the Bashkir government had asked the Russian Constitutional Court to clarify whether federation subjects had the right to determine the status and powers of their elected leaders on their own, but, he said, they still haven't received an answer.

Relatives Of Crash Victims Seek Compensation
Several relatives of the victims from Bashkortostan of a 1 July midair collision over southern Germany involving a Bashkir Airlines passenger jet and a DHL cargo jet have asked Elmar Giemulla and his German firm to represent them in court in seeking compensation for their losses, Interfax-Eurasia reported on 19 September, citing an anonymous source from Bashkir Airlines (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 2 July and 19 September 2002). The relatives of a number of victims are still considering whether to use the German firm in compensation claims to or seek legal assistance elsewhere.

Giemulla said that compensation for each crewmember who died in the crash could total $1.5 million in accordance with U.S. legislation, which Giemulla claimed could be used in this case.

Before suing, however, Giemulla said it is hoped that an amicable settlement can be reached with Skyguide, the Swiss air-traffic-control company that was in charge of the planes just before the collision.

If a settlement cannot be reached, however, Giemulla said that a lawsuit can be filed, though that can't happen until the German commission investigating the causes of the crash completes its investigation, which could take up to five years, Giemulla added.

First Payment Made On State Bond Issue
The Bashkir government has made the first financing payment on a one-year internal bond issued on 18 June, Bashinform reported on 19 September, citing the presidential press service. The 500 million-ruble ($15.8 million) bond issue carries a coupon of 3.75 percent to be paid out every quarter. UralSib bank is handling the payments. The bond received a B rating from Standard & Poor's and a B1 from Moody's.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova