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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 29, 2001

29 August 2001
Ankara to Help Kazan Prepare Millennium Celebrations
Visiting Turkish State Minister Abdukhaluk Mehmet Chay told President Mintimir Shaimiev on 28 August that Ankara is ready to help Tatarstan mark the millennium of Kazan, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Turkey already is assisting republic educational institutions, cooperating with local businesses, and providing other forms of bilateral assistance.

Tatenergo to Provide Limited Heating to Debtors This Winter
Tatengero company officials on 28 August said that some 97% of Tatarstan's heating systems are prepared for winter and the heat supplies would be maintained to all consumers, with limited service to those who have not paid their bills. Major debtors include Kazan State Technological University, Kazan department of Gorky railroads, housing department of Kazan military garrison. The total consumer debt to Tatenergo now stands at 153 million rubles ($5.23 million).

Jewish School Not to Be Moved Until Next Year
"Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 28 August that Kazan mayor Kamil Iskhakov will allow a local Jewish school to remain in its current location for another year to allow time to find new premises. After a fire there in July, Iskhakov had ordered the school facility closed because of safety considerations. But protests from Jewish groups lead him to reconsider the situation. The paper said that teachers and parents of students at the school described the mayor's turnabout as "more or less humane".

Back Wages Continue to Increase
Minister of Labor and Employment Boris Zakharov said on 28 August that back wages in Tatarstan now total more than 1 billion rubles ($34 million) up almost 20 percent since the start of the year. He said that Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov had ordered all debtor enterprises to pay off the wage arrears in full by the end of this year.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Russian, Bashkir Now to Be Used Equally at Public Events
Bashkortostan's government issued a decree on 28 August calling for the equal use of Bashkir and Russian at public events and in public places, Interfax-Eurasia reported. Other languages are to be included only where there is a compact group of speakers of other languages.

Harvesting Season Brings More Thefts From Farmers
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov said on 28 August that the Interior Ministry must intensify its efforts to prevent the increasing number of thefts from republic farms. He said that 57 agriculture-related felony cases were already under investigation.

Bashneft Production Figures
Bahneft extracted 7.88 million tons of oil during the first eight months of 2001, 226 thousand tons of which came from Western Siberia. The company earned 9.4 billion rubles [$321,9 million] in profits.

Ufa Buses to Run on Gas
Public transport in Bashkir capital Ufa is being switched from diesel fuel to natural gas, "Respublika Bashkortostan" reported on 28 August. The city administration has established a nonprofit organization to raise funds for this project.

Agidel Mayor Backs Nuclear Power Plant Construction
Agidel mayor Yevgeny Fyodorov told Bashinform on 28 August that "nuclear energy was the future" and that he backs the construction of a nuclear power plant in his city. The project was begun in 1980, frozen in 1990 due to environmental protests, but may now be resumed for completion by 2020.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi