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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 17, 2001

17 April 2001
Tatarstan To Develop Coal Industry
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov convened a government meeting to discuss the development of the coal industry in the republic, State TV reported. He said that declines in oil reserves made developing the estimate seven billion tons of goal a priority.

Moscow to Resolve UES-Tatenergo Dispute
Federal Energy Commission Chairman Georgy Kutovoy said on 16 April that his agency will consider cutting the price UES charges Tatenergo, Bashenergo and Irkutsenergo. But he said only the courts could determine the precise amount of debt owed.

Tatenergo to Cut Power to Debtors
Tatenergo General Director Ilshat Fardeyev said on 16 April that his company will cut power to the Bua, Tetesh and Tama Tamagi regions because of their outstanding debt. He said the company will also move against others in the future if debts are not paid.

1500 Evade Draft in Tuben Kama
Draft officials in Tuben Kama said that 1500 people had avoided the draft there this spring, the highest number in the republic.

Alcohol, Drug Use Among Young in Chally
Chally social service workers on 16 April reported that a majority of girls use alcohol, drugs or tobacco before 12, while a majority of boys do so before age 15-16.

Defense Seeks Witness List
Defense attorneys for the notorious Kazakh Khadi Taktash mob want the government to release the names of its witnesses, a process that could compromise the government's ability to put on a trial, "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 17 April.

Pensioners Receive More Social Benefits
Deputy Prime Minister Adelya Konyusheva said on 16 April that World War II veterans and other pensions now can ride Tatarstan's intercity buses for free, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported. The republic budget will cover the costs.

Tuben Kama Oil Refinery Workers Join Tatneft Unions
Workers at the Tuben Kama oil refinery on 16 April decided to join the Tatneft Company's trade union, Tatarstan's State Radio reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Yabloko Branch Protests NTV Takeover
The local branch of the Yabloko party on 16 April protested the takeover of NTV, adding that "there is no free speech in Bashkortostan and its president is the main reason for that situation," RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported.

Russians, Tatars Said Fleeing Republic
Communist Duma deputy Valentin Nikitin said that Ufa's policies are causing ethnic Russians and Tatars to flee the republic, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 16 April. Meanwhile, the government-owned "Respublika Bashkortostan" newspaper said that while many had left, even more had arrived.

Rakhimov Signs Cooperation Agreement With Udmurtia�
President Murtaza Rakhimov signed a cooperation agreement with Udmurtia, Bashinform reported on 16 April. Udmurt president Alexander Volkov said the two had agreed to boost joint oil extraction and processing and the purchase of products produced by each other.

� Welcomes Unity-Fatherland Merger
Rakhimov also used the opportunity to say that he welcomes the union of Unity and Fatherland, reported on 16 April.

Average Salaries Twice Subsistence Level
According to the Bashkir State Statistics Committee on 16 April, average monthly salaries in the republic now total 2300 rubles ($80) a month, twice the subsistence level.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi