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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 27, 2001

27 August 2001
Tatarstan Official Says Gudermes Becoming a Tatar Town
Two hundred servicemen, including five women, from Tatarstan's military unit 5561 left for Gudermes to replace the republic detachment that has served its term, Tatarstan Television reported on 25 August. Deputy Interior Minister Rafil Nugumanov said that Gudermes is gradually turning "aTatar town" since more than 1,000 republic residents currently serve there but he said that it is still impossible to reduce their number. He said that there are too few staff members left in Kazan to do the work. Mothers of the servicemen sent to Chechnya told republic television that "Tatarstan residents must not serve in Chechnya," that "there is nothing for them to do there," and that the Chechens should decide for themselves how they want to live. Soldiers said they were given minimal training and that their weapons and other equipment are of low quality.

Shaimiev Takes Part in Bogelme's 220th Anniversary
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 25 August visited Bogelme to take part in the celebration of the city 220th anniversary, Tatarstan Television reported. He attended the opening ceremony of a new youth entertainment center and the presentation of houses constructed for young families. Shaimiev said that Tatarstan spends as much on young people as Russia as a whole does everywhere else.

13 Tu-214s Sold
The Finance Leasing Company signed contracts on the delivery of 13 Tu-214 jets being produced by the Kazan Gorbunov aircraft plant, the company's general manager Yevgenii Zaritsky told �Vremya i dengi� on 24 August. Six planes were purchased by Khabarovsk's Dalavia, and the rest were ordered by two unnamed Russian companies. The official said that the Kazan Gorbunov aircraft plant will produce machines for Dalavia in 2002-2004, and the latter will pay monthly up to $300,000 for 12 years.

Tatenergo Still Faces Non-Payments Problems
The total debt of Tatarstan's consumers for energy amounts to 3.2 billion rubles ($110 million), Tatar-inform reported on 24 August. Defense ministry enterprises are the main debtors. To settle the 800 million ruble ($27.2 million) debt of agricultural manufacturers, Tatenergo and the Agriculture and Foodstuffs Ministry have agreed that it will be paid with agricultural production.

Invalids Hold Sport Festival to Mark Sovereignty Day
Two hundred invalids from Tolyatti, Yekaterinburg, Smolensk, Udmurtia, Marii El, and Samara take part in the ninth sport festival of Tatarstan�s invalids near Kazan on 27-31 August devoted to the republic Sovereignty Day, Tatar-inform reported.

Tatneft Completes First Contract in Vietnam
Tatneft's foreign economic company director Khamir Kaveev said on 23 August that his company has completed a contract in Vietnam under which the equipment and technology for local securing of wells were tested, reported. He said that the technology that has been patented in 52 countries was used abroad for the first time and that the Vietnamese side will conclude a bigger contract with Tatneft.

Kazan to Deliver 6 Mi-17 to Bogota
Rosoboroneksport and the Colombian Defense Ministry signed a $36 million contract on 23 August on the delivery of six Mi-17 helicopters for the Colombia�s air forces, "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported. Helicopters will be assembled at the Kazan helicopter plant.

Government to Restore Control of Bread Prices
President Mintimer Shaimiev said on 24 August in Chistopol that bread prices will again be put under the control by the republic government, Efir-inform reported. Bread prices have doubled since the cabinet stopped regulating them in June.

Two Tatarstan Companies Take Part in Izmir Exhibition
The Chistai watch plant and the Kazan optical-mechanical plant introduced their production at the 70th international exhibit in Turkey�s Izmir that has opened on 26 August, Tatar-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Volga District Official Promotes Russian Passports Without Local Pages In Bashkortostan reported on 24 August that Bashkortostan residents are being deprived of the right to receive Russian passports without insert pages in Bashkir language. The head of the Bashkortostan Interior Ministry�s Passport-Visa Board, Farid Abdrakhmanov, said that some 90,000 residents have already received new Russian passports in the republic from 3 million due to, reported on 24 August. The agency cited Passport-Visa Board deputy head Khaidar Alibaev as saying that Bashkortostan residents are not able to receive passports without special insert pages as his service "did not receive any official rulings from Moscow on this issue." But Volga District Juridical Department head Nikolai Novikov told the agency that the possibility "to choose passport with insert pages or without them is a constitutional right of the Russian Federation citizens." Novikov said that passports being handed out to residents of national republics "may be supplied with insert pages but need not be." So if passport-visa services refuse to give passports without insert pages, he added, everybody can appeal to law-enforcement bodies to defend constitutional rights.

Federation Affairs, National, Migration Policy Minister Visits Ufa
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 24 August met with Russian Federation Affairs, National and Migration Policy Minister Aleksandr Blokhin to discuss issues on power sharing between the federal center and federation subjects, financing national and migration policy, and cooperation between state bodies and public forces representing cultural-national and confessional interests of Russian peoples, the presidential press service reported.

Bashkir National Movements Seek to Unite with Tatar Counterparts
Bashkir national organizations seek to cooperate with Tatarstan public forces to develop a united strategy for defending republics' sovereignty, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 24 August. Bashkir people's center Ural leader Akhtyar Bosqynov told the RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir service that he connected with leaders of several Tatar organizations and agreed to hold a meeting in Tatarstan to discuss such a strategy. He said that political conditions currently existing in Russia force national republics to draw form a united front against Moscow.

Bashkortostan Tatars Say Bashkirisation of Tatar Schools Being Revived
The Bashkir language will be taught in secondary schools of the Tatar-populated Dyurtile district of Bashkortostan, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 26 August referring to "Omet" newspaper. Bashkortostan's Tatar National-Cultural Autonomy deputy chairman Elfir Saqaev told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir service that Tatar children in the republic are forced to study in the Bashkir language and that the policy aiming bashkirization of Tatar schools that was held in 1970s is thus being revived.

Bashkortostan Among Russian Housing Construction Leaders
The presidential Housing Construction Fund spent more than 1 billion rubles on major construction work during the first seven months of the year with 43 percent of this sum being allotted by residents, the presidential press service reported on 24 August. The previous year, the republic invested 1.1 billion in that sector while money spent by residents amounted to 28 percent of this sum.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova