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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 13, 2001

13 February 2001
Presidential Candidate Registered
The Central Election Commission on 12 February finished accepting required documents from possible presidential candidates, RFE/RL's Kazan correspondent reported. Deputy mayor of Yashel Uzen Alexander Fedorov became a second candidate to be officially registered. Meanwhile, the CEC continues to check the documents presented by incumbent President Mintimir Shaimiev, Duma deputy Sergei Shashurin and Communist Robert Sadikov.

Moscow Said Unenthusiastic about Non-Russian Languages
In an interview with Tatarinform on 12 February, Tatarstan's languages development chief Kim Minnullin said that a recent conference in Moscow showed that the Russian government was less than committed to promoting non-Russian languages. He said that Council of Europe officials had expressed interest in Tatarstan's plans to shift to a Latin-based script after Communist duma deputy Aleksandr Benediktov attacked the idea.

Russian Passports For Trips Abroad Now Being Issued
Tatarstan's Passport-Visa Service chief Galina Fakhrutdinova said on 12 February that her service has begun issuing new Russian passports to citizens traveling abroad, reported. The new passports do not yet contain the special inserts about Tatarstan. Fakhrutdinova said that she believed it would be a good idea to use Soviet-style passports as they had pages in corresponding non-Russian languages.

Trade Unions Praised For Opposing Labor Code
Mikhail Rokitsky, who represents Tatarstan in the Duma, on 12 February praised the efforts of the Tatarstan trade union leadership to modify the "excessively cruel" labor code proposed by Moscow.

Shaimiev Greets Afghan War Veterans...
On the 12th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, President Mintimer Shaimiev told a meeting of war veterans in Kazan on 12 February that Russian troops "shouldn't have interfered with the Afghan revolution because it was the country's internal affair." He extended his condolences to the 400 servicemen from the republic who had died in fighting there. The same day, Shaimiev met Italian Agrotekhnika SRL company head Georgo Ponzi to discuss producing paving tiles in Tatarstan.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Baydavletov Calls For Quick Resolution of Property Issues
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov told Bashinform on 12 February, that he is concerned that the continuing ambiguity about property in land is having "a negative effect" on the economy. He said that too much time had already passed and that the issue must be addressed now.

Tax Official Dismisses Objections to Transfers to Federal Budget
Russian Tax Board chief in Bashkortostan Rashit Sattarov said that there was no basis for widespread complaints about the increase in the share of taxes to be transferred from the republic to the federal budget from 31 to 51 percent over the last year. He said that all federal agencies operating in the republic will be financed without delays, Sattarov also noted that republic enterprises now owe some 14.3 billion rubles ($500 million) in taxes.

Organized Crime Remains a Problem
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov met with interior ministry officials to discuss that agency's work over the last year, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported. At the meeting, it was stressed the organized crime and drug trafficking continue to be the most serious problems.

Average Monthly Wage Reaches 1884 Rubles in 2000
The State Statistics Committee said on 12 February that the average monthly salary in the republic had reached 1884 rubles ($67) in 2000.

Property Management System to be Reformed
State Property Committee chairman Zufar Abdrakhimov said on 12 February that the principles of managing state property in the republic must be changed and that all such properties must be reregistered in the coming year.

Estimates of Oil, Mineral Reserves Raised
Geologists have added five million tons of oil to the republic's estimated reserves as well as 30,000 tons of copper and 174 kilograms of gold, Bashinform reported on 12 February.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi