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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 26, 2001


26 July 2001
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Shaimiev Says Tatarstan Promotes Democratic Federalism
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 25 July told Japan�s �Hokkaido Simbun� correspondent Itiro Fudzimori that had the new Union Treaty been signed on 20 August 1991, a renewed Union could have contributed to the creation of a new society without social and economic losses and kept united the people in the country, Tatar-Inform reported. But because the putsch makers sought to return to older Soviet models, they destroyed any chance for such cooperation. Shaimiev stressed that Tatarstan supports Russian democratic federalism and that he sees the main threat to the country to be a unitarism that won't reflect democratic values. He suggested that the current imperial trend in Russian thinking is only a temporary trend.

Moscow Prepares To �Flood� Tatar-Bashkir Energy Union
�Kommersant� reported on 24 July that according to the agreement signed last week by the Tatarstan and Bashkortostan prime ministers, the two republics are ready to flood part of their territories in order to provide their energy independence. The paper noted that if that happens, Udmurtia and Perm Oblast will lose their arable lands and added that the Tatar-Bashkir project will be �flooded� at the federal level. The Chubais� company can also to break agreements on servicing weirs or to leave the republics without hydro power stations.

Tatar, American Companies Set Up Join Venture
The Tuben Kama petrochemical company and the U.S. Finna Technology signed a contract on joint production of polystyrene, Region-Inform reported on 24 July.

Federal Ministry Unhappy with Instruction in Tatar
The federal Education Ministry ordered republic higher educational institutions to stop spending money received from the federal budget to provide instruction in Tatar, �Shehri Qazan� reported on 25 July.

Shaimiev�s Son Sues �Sovetskaya Rossiya"
�Novaya vecherka� reported on 25 July that the Tatarstan Supreme Court has set 2 August for a hearing of the suit of the Nira-eksport company headed by Shamiev's son Radik Shaimiev, the TAIF company and Austrian citizen Nikola Koprivitsa against �Sovetskaya Rossiya,� writer Rinat Mukhammadiev and a constituent of �Novaya vecherka.� Plaintiffs are demanding the retraction of accusations against President Mintimer Shaimiev, his relatives and close allies published in the article �Semya� i �krysha� (�The Family and the Roof�) in these papers and Koprivitsa as well seeks 500,000 rubles ($17,000) in compensation of moral damage.

MediaUnion�s Youth Guild Arranged in Tatarstan
Correspondents of �Respublika Tatarstan,� �Molodezh� Tatarstana� as well as other republic youth newspapers on 24 July set up a republic youth branch of MediaUnion and elected Vera Basilai, a �Molodezh� Tatarstana� correspondent, as their leader, tatnews.ru reported. Vadim Zharko, the head of the Russian-wide students� press guild, was in attendance.

Officials Comment on Anonymous Messages
Rovel Kashapov, the Federal Security Service Tatarstan Board official in charge of public relations, told �Vechernyaya Kazan� on 24 July that his organization takes into account anonymous messages but noted that such messages are not sufficient grounds for filing suits, bugging telephone conversations or opening and inspecting correspondence. Gennadii Valegov, the cabinet official in charge of correspondence, said that all messages, including those anonymous, reach republic heads. And he added that he treats anonymous messages �with understanding.� Viktor Medvedev, an Education Ministry official, noted that many people often cannot openly complain about their bosses openly and that students� parents also write anonymous messages complaining of school directors and extortion in secondary educational institutions.

Transport Tariffs Up in Kazan
The Kazan administration announced that urban public transport fares will rise 50 percent on 28 July, �Vechernyaya Kazan� reported on 24 July. Residents will pay 3 rubles ($0.1) for a tram and trolley-bus and 3-5 rubles for a bus.

Volga District Interior Head Appointed
Vladimir Shcherbakov, the former head of the Interior Ministry Board in Udmurtia, was appointed head of the Ministry�s Volga District Board, Minister Boris Gryzlov told RIA-Novosti on 25 July in Nizhnii Novgorod.

District Official to Oversee Mass Media
Federal Inspector in Saratov Oblast Pavel Zhuravlev has been named to head the Volga District board on press, television and radio broadcasting and mass communications affairs, the press service of the presidential Volga District envoy reported on 25 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Ufa Moves Against Drug Addiction
President Murtaza Rakhimov issued a decree on a republic program against drug addiction and trafficking, AROMI reported on 25 July. Drug addiction there has doubled in the last five years and that the number of users is 10-12 times the official figures.

Ufa Restores Soviet-Style Production Competitions
The cabinet on 25 July issued a decree calling for competition between cities and regions in terms of agricultural production; a competition like the ones employed in Soviet times

Divorces Up, Marriages Down
The number of marriages has declined by 50 percent over the last decade in Bashkortostan, Bashinform reported on 25 July. As a result, the number of marriages now exceeds the number of divorces by less than 50 percent.

Power Supplies Restored In Damaged Areas
According to Bashkortostan�s Ministry of Emergency Situations on 25 July, Bashkirenergo workers have rebuilt the power lines damaged by the recent hurricane in Ufa, and Krasnokamsk, Yanaul, Kaltasin, Boray regions.

State Control Body Prevents Misuse of Funds
Bashkortostan�s State Control Committee announced on 25 July that during the first half of 2001, it had prevented the misuse of 317 million in budget funds. The committee also managed to force back wages repayment at local farms.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
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