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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 11, 2001

11 July 2001
Government Discusses Industrial Development
At a meeting chaired by President Mintimir Shaimiev, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov reported that the republic's economy had produced 1.01 billion rubles ($36 million) in goods so far this year, the highest since 1992. But the republic continued to produce less electricity and food than in 2000. Back wages have fallen this year by 14.8 million rubles to a total of 328 million rubles.

Saratov Governor Unhappy With Special Status Of Republics
Saratov governor Dmitry Ayatskov was quoted by on 10 July as saying that "it is necessary to give up treaty-based relations between the center and the regions." In his opinion, all the territorial entities should live according to single law, common for Saratov and Tatarstan."

Energy Consumers Owe More
The general director of Tatenergo Ilshat Fardiev said on 10 July that energy consumers in Tatarstan owe his company 10% more this year than last, with farmers being among the largest debtors. Despite that, he said, Tatenergo had been able to pay off its debts to Gazprom.

KamAZ Resumes Output Growth
KamAZ general director Ivan Kostin said on 10 July that his company had achieved 15% output growth in the first half of 2001 compared to the previous year. KamAZ has produced 10,500 trucks and 18,300 cars this year.

Journalists Union Opposes City Administration
Tatarstan's Journalists Union denounced the new charter of "Kazanskiye Vedomosti" daily proposed by one of newspaper's creators, the Kazan city administration, on 10 July. Union chairwoman Rimma Ratnikova said that city committee on public relations and mass media had tried to amend the charter without the consent of the paper's editorial board. An independent analysis of the draft by Journalist Union experts showed that the charter contained numerous violations of federal Mass Media Law.

Tatarstan Citizen Captured By Militants In Chechnya
According to information agency on 10 July, Chechen militants captured two Russian army privates in Shali-Johar area the same day. One of them is Kazan resident Nikolay Zimin.

Putin to Use Kazan-produced Airplanes, Helicopters
Viktor Khrekov, a press officer on the president's staff, told on 10 July that President Vladimir Putin is likely to order several Kazan-produced aircraft for his use.

EBRD to Assist Private Business in Tatarstan
European Bank Reconstruction and Development representative Yevgeny Nemerinsky on 10 July said in Kazan that the EBRD intended to launch it program for small businesses support in Tatarstan. He added that EBRD was attracted to the region because of the large number -- 27,000 -- of such businesses there.

Prisoners' Relatives Picket Kazan Jail
Relatives of the inmates of Kazan prison No. 2 picketed the prison entrance on 10 July to support the hunger strike of 54 convicts, who are protesting regular beatings there by special purpose militia servicemen. Such SpetsNaz forces are committing a crime rather than punishing one, the demonstrators said.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan Soldier Freed in Chechnya
Bashinform reported on 10 July that an unnamed soldier from Sterlitamak had been freed from Chechen captivity and had returned to his unit serving in that north Caucasus republic.

Government Prepares For Census
Bashkortostan�s government will gather on 13 July to discuss the measures for preparing the 2002 Russian national census, the State Statistics Committee reported.

Abortion Rate Declines
Khalida Valeeva, who heads the family planning center in Ufa, said on 10 July that the number of abortions in Bashkortostan has declined in recent years, from 77,000 in 1995 to 62,000 in 2000.

HIV Infections Continue to Spread
"Respublika Bashkortostan" reported on 10 July that 53 more HIV carriers had been reported last week alone, bringing the republic's total to 1499.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi