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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 29, 2001

29 January 2001
Shaimiev Announces He'll Run�
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 26 January said he will run for reelection, Tatar-inform reported. Shaimiev participated in the celebrations on 70th anniversary of the rural district. He said that his delay in making the announcement had nothing to do with law or politics but rather a desire to speak with people in his native village and see if they still supported him. He was formally nominated on 27 January by a group of 325 Kazan residents.

�And Polls on Voter Trust Suggest He'll Win Reelection
Shaimiev already leads all candidates with 86 percent of voters saying they trust or completely trust him, Efir TV channel reported on 28 January. Parliamentary speaker Farid Mukhametshin was in second place with a 31 percent trust rating; other candidates trailed far behind.

A Woman Joins Presidential Race
Tatar-inform reported on 26 January that Sagida Nigmatullina, 51, a businesswoman in Kazan, plans to run for president. She thus became the sixteenth participant in the race.

Kazan Plastics Production Grow
Nail Yusupov, the general manager of Kazanorgsintez, on 26 January said that his company's output of plastics had grown nine percent last year, Tatar-inform reported. He added that average salaries at the company had doubled during the same period and now amount to 5700 rubles ($200) a month.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkortostan to Join WTO Only Together with Russia
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 26 January said that Bashkortostan would not join the World Trade Organization independently but only as a part of Russia. Responding to suggestions that Ufa do more to prepare for WTO membership, Rakhimov said "we should not provide food for the Russian media to accuse us of separatism."

All Republic Industries Show Growth in 2000
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 26 January said that all branches of the republic's industries increased production last year, Bashinform said, with rates varying from a low of three percent increase in electrical output to 25 percent in light industry. He said that this was the result of political stability, a favorable investment climate, high oil prices, and recent industrial reforms.

Ufa Concerned by Rising Imports
Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Sigakov on 26 January expressed concern about the growth of imports, Bashinform reported. He said that domestic producers should try to more actively compete with importers.

Firemen Say Wage Delays Weaken
Rasul Makhmutov, the head of Bashkortostan Interior Ministry�s fire-prevention service, told Bashinform on 26 January that the failure of the government to pay firemen on time was beginning to affect their efficiency in fighting fires.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova