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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 16, 2001

16 July 2001
Latinization Still Under Question?
Astrakhan Oblast Governor Anatolii Guzhvin met with local Tatar community leaders and urged them to speak against switching to the Latin script, RFE/RL's Astrakhan correspondent reported on 13 July. Guzhvin called for postponing the introduction of the script until all issues can be reexamined. But President Mintimir Shaimiev�s advisor Rafail Khakimov told the RFE/RL Kazan bureau that he has no information about such a review. At the same time, RFE/RL�s Omsk correspondent the same day reported that several representatives of the local Tatar national-cultural autonomy have prepared a letter protesting latinization of Tatar script for sending it to the Tatarstan State Council but that autonomy head Khakim Sadykov refused to sign it. Some of autonomy members commented on the move as inspired �from above.� However, the government official in charge of languages development Kim Minnullin on 13 July told RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau that his office has no official documents ordering to postpone introduction of the new script scheduled for September 2001. But he said that preparation for switching to Latin Tatar is proceeding too slowly and that it is unlikely that Tatar schools outside Tatarstan could join the measure current year.

Shaimiev Again On Economic Advantages Of Power-Sharing Treaty
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 12 July said that Tatarstan had gained positive results due to the special inter-budget relations based on the 1994 power-sharing treaty and that the republic is in 23rd place in per capita budget submissions while a decade ago it was in 43rd place. He noted that production growth in Tatarstan over past five years had totaled 32 percent against Russian average of 6 percent. He stressed that the republic cannot join the united economic space without damaging living standards of its residents so it has persuaded Moscow to adopt a special social-economic program for Tatarstan.

Tehran Seeking To Boost Ties With Kazan
Iranian president advisor Farid Zade on 13 July met with Deputy State Council Chairman Robert Minnullin to discuss development of scientific and cultural cooperation. Farid Zade praised Kazan�s contribution to the development of Oriental and Iranian studies. The sides agreed to hold in September in Iran an exhibit of Persian and Iranian rarities from the funds of the Tatarstan National Museum. Setting up in Kazan of a Russian interregional affiliate of the International Center for Dialogue of Civilizations located in Tehran was discussed at an Iranian delegation meeting with the World Tatars Congress members. Timur Akulov, an advisor to Tatarstan president and head of the presidential foreign affairs department, said that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are ready to join bilateral efforts of Tatarstan and Iran on promotion of a dialogue of civilizations.

More Comments On �Initiative Of Four�
�Nezavisimaya gazeta� on 13 July said that attitudes toward annulling power-sharing accords fell into three categories depending on the regions' well-being. Those receiving subsidies want the treaties abolished. The second, led by President Mintimir Shaimiev, is totally opposed to the abolition of these accords. And the third supports a compromise. The paper said that the Kremlin is unlikely to seek the abolition of all treaties but may move to modify them.

Tatarstan Looks Toward Good Harvest
Deputy Agriculture and Food-staffs Minister Tahir Khadeev told ITAR-TASS on 14 July that Tatarstan is likely to have a harvest this year 50 percent larger than last year's. Favorable weather, more equipment, and a larger area sowed all have contributed, he said.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Deputy Premier Calls For Postponing Census
Khalyaf Ishmuratov, Deputy Prime Minister and the head of the government commission on preparations for census, said on 13 July that it will be impossible to complete all preparations for the census by the fall of 2002 fall when the enumeration is now scheduled, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported. He said that Moscow is seeking to postpone the measure by three months but added that is far from enough and that Moscow has not provided any funding yet. that only three months is too little to improve the situation. And he added that no funding still have been provided by Moscow for preparations.

Rakhimov Visits New Construction Sites
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 13 July took part in opening ceremony of a new building of the Yomatau resort and attended the Bashkortostan Center of Small Businesses under construction in Ufa, Bashinform reported.

Fuel-Energy Complex Faces Difficulties
The cabinet on 13 July said that it is becoming harder to provide energy, gas and fuel for consumers and that the failure of industrial companies and agricultural farms to pay their bills remains the major cause, RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported.

Former Bashkir Airlines Head Accused Of Embezzlement
Prosecutors have charged former Bashkir airlines company head Velmir Gaziev of embezzlement of $3.4 million, RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported on 13 July.

Bashkir Serviceman Killed by Fellow Soldiers
Filyuz Zulmukhametov, a soldier from Bashkortostan who was murdered by his fellow soldiers, was buried in his native Belebei on 12 July, Belebei, RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported.

Top Bashkir Cultural Figures Criticized
Bashkir writer Taifur Sagitov presented his new novel �Ninel� in which he sharply criticized Bashkortostan�s Bashkir literature star Mustai Karim, as well as President Murtaza Rakhimov, who, Sagitov wrote, �did not read at all Bashkir literature and judges about it from the words of others,� RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported on 15 July. �Qyzyl tang� on 10 July published an open letter by Bashkir Writers Union chairman Ravil Bikbaiev and ten other writers criticizing Sagitov for his remarks and his novel.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova