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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 27, 2002

27 November 2002
Moscow Begins Financing Of Leasing Program At Kazan Aircraft Plant
Yevgenii Zaritskii, executive director of the Financial Leasing Company (FLK), which was established in order to oversee leasing plans for the Kazan Aircraft Plant, told a press conference in Kazan on 27 November that the federal government has begun transferring to the FLK funds earmarked for the construction of 10 Tupolev 214 aircraft at the Kazan plant over the next four to five years, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. KAPO General Director Nail Kharirullin said at the same press conference that Libya and Bulgaria have expressed interest in purchasing the aircraft. Zaritskii added that KAPO plans to lease two of its aircraft in 2003 and three more in 2004. In addition to leasing plans, the company intends to sell two aircraft to the Rossiya State Airline by the end of this year.

Prosecutors Identify Five More Russian Citizens At Guantanamo Bay
Representatives from the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office recently identified five more Russian citizens -- three Guantanamo prisoners had previously been identified as Russian citizens -- being held at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of having fought on the side of the Taliban during U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan beginning in October 2001, reported on 26 November, citing Deputy Prosecutor-General Sergei Fridinskii (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 10 May 2002). The five include Rawyl Mingazov and Airat Wakhitov from Tatarstan, Roestem Ekhmerov from Chelyabinsk Oblast, Timur Ishmuradov from Tyumen Oblast, and Ruslan Odigov from Kabardino-Balkaria. Fridinskii told the website that Russia plans to seek the extradition of the eight prisoners.

Conference On Ethnic Languages Kicks Off In Kazan
An interregional conference called "The Languages of Russia's Peoples -- A National Possession of the Russian State" got under way in Kazan on 26 November, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. The conference is hosting some 300 delegates from 20 regions of Russia. Conference delegates plan to discuss issues involving the teaching of ethnic languages and tolerance in a multiethnic Russia. In association with the conference, Tatar teachers from across Russia will also visit preschools and schools in Kazan to share their experiences in preparing courses on Tatar language and culture.

Tatneft To Sell Gas Stations In Ukraine
Tatneft's subsidiary in Ukraine, Tatneft-Ukraina, has decided to sell 12 of the 20 gas stations it owns in that country, "Kommersant" daily reported on 26 November. As a result, the daily suggested, the market share of Russian-produced petroleum products in Ukraine will be reduced from 80 percent to 30 percent.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkirenergo Sets Up Power-Line Company
The Bashkirenergo board of directors passed on 25 November a resolution to establish a joint-stock Bashkir Power-Line Company (BSK) with 1.8 billion rubles ($56.5 million) in capital, RosBalt reported the next day. Bashkirenergo is the only founder of the company. The measure is a step toward the restructuring of Bashkortostan's energy system which was agreed at the 20 September meeting of republican leadership with Russian United Energy Systems (EES) head Anatolii Chubais (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 26 September 2002).

Under the restructuring plan, the republic's energy system is to be divided into four branches, including management, sales, generating, and power-line companies. The Energy Sales Company of Bashkortostan, the Republican Dispatchers Board on Electrical Power Engineering, and five other service joint-stock companies were separated from Bashkirenergo in October and November. BSK's controlling interest will be owned by the Bashkir government, while EES, the owner of 22 percent of Bashkirenergo shares, will possess the second-largest stake. Seven candidates were nominated to the BSK board of directors, including three representatives of Bashkirenergo, one representative from Bashneftekhim, Bashnerft, and EES each, and the Bashkir economy minister.

Bashkortostan, Chelyabinsk Oblast To Boost Ties
A Bashkir delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Yefremov visited Chelyabinsk Oblast to discuss implementation of a bilateral cooperation agreement, Ural-Press-Inform reported on 25 November. The sides negotiated increasing deliveries of grain harvester combines, buses, trolley-buses, fire engines, machine-tool production, and oil from Bashkortostan to Chelyabinsk and of steel from the oblast to Bashkortostan. It was also agreed to develop a network of Bashneft filling stations in Chelyabinsk. Participation of Bashkortostan in financing geological exploration in Chelyabinsk's Uitashskii district and allocation of 5 million to 10 million rubles ($314,000) from the republican budget for this project in 2003 was discussed. The sides agreed to hold a meeting of their government delegations next month and to organize a trade-economic mission of Chelyabinsk to Bashkortostan in the first half of 2003.

Republican Budget Revenues To Fall By 4.5 Percent In 2003
The chairman of the Legislative Chamber's Budget, Taxes, Banks, Finances, and Ownership Issues Committee, Boris Titov, told Bashinform on 26 November that under Bashkortostan's draft 2003 budget, republican budget revenues will total 53.6 billion rubles ($1.7 billion), or 4.5 percent less than in 2002 and 23 percent of the gross regional product, which will total 231.8 billion rubles ($7.3 billion). Some 43 percent of the revenues, or 23.1 billion rubles, will be transferred to the federal budget, Titov said. The 2003 budget was passed by the republican legislature in the first reading in late October.

Residents Cover 70 Percent Of Municipal-Services Cost
The cost of municipal housing services per square meter of housing have increased in Bashkortostan by 130 percent over the past four years, while its share covered by residents grew by 510 percent, Bashinform reported on 25 November. In the first six months of the year, Bashir residents paid 69.3 percent of the total cost of municipal housing services. According to local legislation, the cost of municipal housing services cannot exceed 22 percent of a family's total income.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova