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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 24, 2002

24 September 2002
EES Official Sees 'Constructive' Dialogue With Tatenergo
Russia's Unified Energy Systems (EES) and Tatarstan's Tatenergo power and heat company "have created conditions for normal intersystem relations, which will guarantee further constructive energy-industry dialogue," EES board member Andrei Trapeznikov told the country's regional energy producers on 23 September, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the following day. Trapeznikov stressed the importance of "elaborating a single opinion [among EES and regional companies] in terms of the current energy-system reform," because a joint approach "will assist the strengthening of the country's energy-system security."

On 13 August, Tatarstan's Cabinet of Ministers and EES signed a treaty on the latter�s cooperation with Tatenergo "based on the principle of equality of both sides acting as two independent subjects" (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 14 August 2002). Tatenergo is the only regional energy producer in Russia without EES representatives on its board of directors.

Tatarstan's Contributions To Federal Budget Are Second In District
The Russian State Statistics Committee on 23 September announced nationwide tax receipts for 2001 that showed Tatarstan was the second-biggest contributor to the federal budget in the Volga Federal District in the period with 49.7 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) transferred to Moscow, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. Only the Republic of Bashkortostan outpaced Tatarstan, transferring 51.5 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) to the federal budget in the same period.

While Elmet Region Shares Costs Of Law Enforcement
Local deputies in the Elmet region of Tatarstan on 23 September adopted a resolution on purchasing 13 additional vehicles and 60 portable radios for police with regional funding -- marking the first time a local budget has taken on expenses that are supposed to be covered from the federal budget -- according to Tatnews. The expenditures are part of a program of emergency measures to reinforce law-enforcement activities. The region will also pay each police officer an additional 1,500 rubles ($47) per month, which is equal to the average salary officers receive from the Russian Interior Ministry.

New Book Draws President's Psychological Portrait
A book by Ramil Mingazov and Ilham Kiyamov titled "President M.Sh.Shaimiev: A Social And Psychological Portrait� has been published in Kazan, the local edition of "Izvestiya� reported on 24 September. Mingazov told the daily that he and his coauthor �analyzed most of Shaimiev�s interviews and sometimes even his tones of voice� as part of their research. The authors conclude that Shaimiev has a strong sense of responsibility and tends not to take care about his image, the paper reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Speaker Says Ufa Gets Rid Of Republic's Sovereignty, Citizenship
The Bashkir leadership plans to sign an amended power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Ufa by the end of the year, Bashkir State Assembly Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev said at a press conference on 23 September in Ufa, Interfax-Eurasia reported. Tolkachev said republican legislators are finishing their work on developing the draft of the power-sharing treaty. The speaker stressed that the new document will be "an individual, not a model one, and may be applied only to the relations between federal authorities and Bashkortostan." Tolkachev noted that some Moscow politicians do not consider treaty-based relations between Russia and Bashkortostan to be necessary. Bashkir authorities and parliamentarians, however, "make reasonable efforts" to persuade opponents and hope to reach a mutual understanding on those issues, he asserted. Tolkachev said republican legislators "did not give up their positions of principle, and the text of the treaty was brought into line with contemporary reality." In particular, the document won't include provisions about Bashkortostan as a sovereign state within the Russian Federation, or anything about the republic's monopoly on the use of its natural resources. The new treaty will not mention any form of citizenship for residents of Bashkortostan and, the speaker said, "even during the Soviet state the institution of citizenship existed in union and autonomous republics" (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 17 September 2002).

Tatar Ensemble Refused Possibility To Perform In Bashkortostan
Bashkir authorities have disallowed the State Ensemble of Folk Singing and Dancing of Tatarstan to tour Bashkortostan, reported on 23 September. The tour was slated for 21 September until 2 October in 10 cities, including Ufa, Tuimazy, and Salavat. But at the very last moment, the Tatar Culture Ministry received a letter signed by Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister Khelef Ishmoratov demanding the tour be postponed "because of poor weather conditions and harvesting." Tatar Culture Minister Ildus Tarkhanov, nevertheless, recommended the troupe go to Bashkortostan anyway, since all of the performances were sold out. The ensemble, however, returned to Kazan on 21 September after officials in Oktyabrskii, the first city on their tour, asked the ensemble "to spare them and not to perform." There are reports from an anonymous source that a directive has been issued at the highest level in Bashkortostan for there to be a freeze on cultural contacts with the republic with Tatarstan (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Review," 20 September 2002).

Bashkortostan Collects Record Harvest
The grain harvest in Bashkortostan this year totaled some 4.1 million tons or 2,500 kilograms per hectare, the highest total in the republic's history, ITAR-TASS reported on 23 September. Some 800,000 tons were passed to the republican fund in payment for budget credits. The acting director of Bashkirkhleboprodukt, Rinat Arslanov, told the news agency that "nobody has thus far complained that they do not know what to do with grain. We maintained [that we would] collect the harvest and we will manage to sell it."

Tajetdin Visits Chavashia
The chairman of the Central Muslim Religious Board of Russia and the European countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Telget Tajetdin, visited Chavashia on 23 September to review mosques under restoration, ITAR-TASS reported the same day. Tajetdin was satisfied with the fact that there are currently 40 mosques in the republic, while a decade ago, there were only two. Chavash President Nikolai Fedorov accompanied Tajetdin on his trip in the republic where Tatars are the third-largest ethnic people.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova