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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 2, 2001

2 August 2001
Tatarstan's President Among 20 Most Influential Russian Politicians
President Mintimer Shaimiev was rated 18th among Russian leading politicians according to the results of the monthly poll published in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 1 August. Among 13 largest cities of Russia represented in the poll, Shaimiev's rating was lowest in Ekaterinburg and highest in Ufa.

Shaimiev Forms Commission To Coordinate Work Of Federal Bodies
President Shaimiev on 1 August ordered the establishment of a working group that will develop proposals on the coordination of the activity of federal bodies in the republic, and appointed First Deputy Prime Minister Ravil Muratov to head the body, Tatar-inform reported. Muratov charged republic ministers and department heads with developing proposals intended to improve cooperation with federal bodies and urged them to base those measures on the constitutions of both Russia and Tatarstan.

Tatarstan Premier Visits Austria
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on 1 August left for Austria to promote cooperation in the petrochemical sector, Tatar-inform reported.

HIV Statistics Increased Some Fivefold Over A Year
The number of HIV-carriers increased in Tatarstan in July by 236 to 3038, while a year ago, it totaled 636, anti-AIDS center official Galina Antonova told Tatar-inform on 1 August.

Tatarstan Muslim Board To Cooperate With East European Counterparts
The heads of the Muslim communities of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and Ukraine seek to cooperate with the Tatarstan Muslim Religious Board, Tatarstan's Mufti Gusman khazrat Iskhakov told Tatar-inform on 1 August. Iskhakov met Muslim leaders at a conference on "Islam and Muslims of Belarus in the twentieth century" in Minsk at which he delivered a report.

Education Ministry Calls To Prolong Experiment In Latin Tatar Script
The Education Ministry board on 31 July discussed the issue of experimental training in Latin Tatar script and stated that it is necessary to continue the experiment in educational institutions, training teachering staff, and the development of textbooks and methodic manuals, Tatar-inform reported. The ministry also said that it plans to open 24 new secondary schools for some 9,100 pupils, that it allocated 1.1 million rubles ($38,000) for medical equipment and furniture for children's homes and boarding schools over the first six months of the year, and that secondary educational institutions received 9,000 new computers so far this year.

63,000 Tatarstan Residents Obtain New Passports
Galina Fakhrutdinova, the head of the Interior Ministry's Passport-Visa Service Board, said on 1 August that the exchange of old passports for new ones is proceeding slowly, and that only 63,000 residents have received new Russian passports since they wereintroduced in Tatarstan in June, Tatar-inform reported. She said that 3 million old passports must be exchanged by the end of 2005 and that only passports with Tatarstan's insert page, featuring the republic state emblem and in the Tatar language, are being issued in the republic.

Federal Inspector Says Tatarstan Violates Federal Laws On Securities
Chief federal inspector in Tatarstan Marsel Galimardanov on 1 August said that federal legislation on securities is not being observed in the republic, reported. His comments came at a meeting of heads of republican branches of federal bodies. Boris Sobolev, the head of the Federal Commission on securities in Tatarstan, said that 679 republican companies did not register an emission of their shares.

Decoration Works Begin In Qol Sherif Mosque
Ildus Vakhitov, the director of the Kazan Kremlin reserve, said that main construction works at the Qol Sherif mosque have been completed and that his organization has announced a tender for performing decorative work there, Tatar-inform reported on 1 August. Vakhitov said that a museum of ancient Islamic books will be located on the first floor of the mosque and that the Qol Sherif fund has already collected 300 editions of Koran in different languages. More than 12,500 people have contributed in the construction so far and are listed in the special Remembrance Book.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Tatarstan Delegation Visit Results
The Prime Ministers of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, Rafael Baidavletov and Rustam Minnikhanov, signed agreements in Ufa on 31 July on the joint development of decorative stone deposits and extraction and processing of detritus in Bashkortostan, and on the joint production of buses and fertilizers for Tatarstan, Bashinform reported. Bashkortostan's Foreign Relations and Trade Ministry and Tatarstan's Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Ministry signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation. The two leaders said that the republics aim to develop long-term mutually advantageous cooperation and that their potential provides favorable conditions for equal relations. Minnikhanov told Tatarstan Television on 1 August that President Murtaza Rakhimov "is very much interested in our integration reaching a qualitatively new level."

Speaker Says Bicameral Legislature To Be Preserved
Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev told Bashinform on 1 August that the bicameral structure of the republic's parliament has proved its efficiency and that "we are not going to change it," although only four federation subjects have a bicameral legislature. But he added that the status and structure of the body will be improved. He said "we consider one of the most important directions of our activity to be legislative work with the Duma, especially on economic laws," and noted that the republic's State Assembly has developed and proposed to the Duma 19 draft laws.

Bashkortostan Body Pessimistic About Public Internet-Centers
Bashkortostan's Federal Post Communications Board expressed skepticism about the Russian government resolution according to which public Internet-centers must be set up in all post offices, Bashinform reported on 1 August. The republic board said that there are neither necessary conditions nor demand for such a measure.

Two Economic Zones Provided With Favorable Conditions
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 1 August issued decrees on creating two favorable economic zones, the presidential press service reported. The first of them promotes the development of the industrial potential of Sterletamaq city and creates legal and economic terms for preserving capacities and attracting investments to the Sterletamaq Avangard enterprise, which is owned by the federal government. The second decree provides similar measures for Neftekamsk and its agricultural machinery producer Bashselmash.

Bashkortostan Lost One More Resident In Chechnya
One more serviceman from Bashkortostan, Vladimir Proskurin, died in Grozny and has been buried in his native city, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 31 July referring to unofficial sources. Four or five members of the Bashkortostan interior ministry detachment in Grozny have reportedly been injured.

By Gulnara Khasanova