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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 23, 2001

23 February 2001
Klebanov Praises Shaimiev for Industrial Progress
President Mintimer Shaimiev and Russian deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov on 21 February in Moscow discussed the development of industry in Tatarstan, reported. Klebanov praised the success of KamAZ, the Kazan aviation company, and defense industry companies. He said that Shaimiev was responsible for much of their success because of his work in providing tax breaks and state orders.

Klebanov Calls for Better Domestically Produced Planes
Russian deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov on 22 February told picketers from aircraft construction trade that the government on 15 March will discuss introducing the leasing of domestically produced aircraft, RIA-Novosti reported. He said the government will consider arrangements with banks to provide aviation plants with longterm and inexpensive credits. Until then, however, he said that Aeroflot had to purchase foreign planes because domestically produced planes were of such low quality that foreign airports were not allowing them to land.

Kidnappers Sentenced
Tatarstan's Supreme Court on 22 February convicted three Chally residents of kidnapping and sentenced them to long period of imprisonment, Tatarstan television reported. The three reportedly kidnapped the son of a Chally administration official on orders from Chechen field commander Khattab in order to collect a $300,000 ransom.

KMIZ Gets Order From German Company
Nur Shakirov, general manager of the Kazan medical instrument plant (KMIZ) said that his company has received a $516,000 order from the German Karl Storz firm to produce titanium instruments, AK&M reported on 21 February.

Profitable Farms To Get Credits
The agriculture ministry said on 22 February that the government will provide credits only to profitable farms, Tatar-inform reported. Unprofitable ones will have to find funding on their own. And he said the credits will be in cash and will have to be repaid in cash unlike in earlier years when the support and repayments took the form of barter items.

Kazan RR Wins Russia-wide Competition
Khasyan Zabirov, head of the Gorky railway, said on 22 February that the Kazan department of the railway had won this year's Russian railways competition, Tatar-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Congratulates Servicemen
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 22 February addressed his greetings to servicemen and veterans on Motherland Defenders Day. He said, "Bashkortostan has a long and glorious tradition of service to Russia." He noted that the republic takes better care of its veterans than do other parts of Russia and said "those republic citizens participating in the Caucasus campaign are our concern."

Volga, Ural Military Districts To Be Merged
According to a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Volga and Ural military districts are to be merged into a single one this summer, reported on 22 February.

Ufa Authorities Say Transport Tariffs to Rise
Ufa administration head Rauf Nugumanov on 22 February said that passengers currently pay less than half the cost of the transport they use and that charges will therefore have to rise since the city cannot afford this level of subsidies. He also said that the city must repair its streets before thinking about building an underground.

Harmonization Continues
The State Assembly on 22 February amended laws on the Constitutional Court and precious metals and stones, codes on traffic safety, housing, fire safety, land resources, and water, and it passed laws on foreign treaties and freedom of public organizations as part of the harmonization process.

Bashkir National Leader Calls For Referendum
Ural Bashkir People Center leader Akhtyar Boskynov on 22 February told RFE/RL that the main task of national organizations is to defend the sovereignty of republics in order to prevent Russia from returning to a unitary state. He said that many national republics are losing their rights. And he called for a referendum in Bashkortostan to back up republic leaders in their fight against the encroachment by central powers. He also criticized the "passivity" of Duma deputies representing Bashkortostan in this respect.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova