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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 1, 2001

1 November 2001
Turkish Officials, Businessmen Gather In Kazan
Turkey's State Minister and intergovernment Turkish-Russian economic commission co-chairman Yilmaz Karakoyunlu, Turkish Ambassador to Russia Nabi Sensoy, the co-chairman of the Russian-Turkish Business Council Turgut G�r, Iskeseher Mayor Yilmaz Buyukersen, and Russian Deputy Property Relations Minister Sergei Kosarev arrived in Kazan on 31 October to take part in the ninth meeting of the Russian-Turkish Business Council, Tatar-inform reported. The Russian-Turkish Business Council, uniting some 200 companies, was set up in 1991. Some 50 Tatar-Turkish joint ventures exist in Tatarstan.

Tatarstan's Courts To Work Under Russian State Symbols
Tatarstan's flags and state emblems will be removed from the premises of the republic's supreme and arbitration courts at the request of prosecutors, "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 31 October. Prosecutors also protested provisions in Tatarstan's legislation regarding state symbols of the republic as "expressing its sovereignty."

Likhachev Said To Be Among Candidates For Federation Council Speaker
Russia's representative to European communities, Vasilii Likhachev, is on a list of contenders for the post of Federation Council speaker after Yegor Stroyev's re-election as the governor of Orel, "Vremya MN" reported on 31 October. A former deputy chairman of the Federation Council, Likhachev has "a rich political past" in Tatarstan and "does not fully support the policies of Mintimer Shaimiev" -- to his credit, the newspaper noted. "Vremya MN" predicted that Likhachev's candidacy may be supported by the Kremlin.

TPC Protests Persecution By Prosecutors...
The Tatar Public Center presidium on 31 October issued a statement to express its disagreement with alleged persecution by Tatarstan's prosecutors of participants in a 14 October commemorative meeting, Tatar-inform reported on 31 October. TPC argued that the event has been observed for more than 10 years and has always been politicized to some extent, especially in recent years as federal authorities downplayed the achievements of Tatarstan's sovereignty. Tatar leaders said actions of civil disobedience are supposed to include only peaceful methods, such as a boycott of Russian elections or refusal to receive Russian grants and degrees. They said that the "shadow" government has existed since 1994 in the form of the Milli Mejlis.

...And Objects To Bombing Of Afghanistan
The Tatar Public Center in Chally on 30 October expressed fears concerning the U.S.-led bombardment of Afghanistan and alleged intentions to expand the attacks to include targets in other countries, Tatar-inform reported. TPC leaders pointed out the similarity of the current global situation with the eves of WWI and WWII, arguing that American actions increase the number of terrorists instead of eliminating the root causes of terrorism. They urged a stop to conflicts in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Palestine and an increasing role for the United Nations in promoting national problems, including the right of self-determination.

KamAZ Promotes Joint Projects With Germany, China
KamAZ and German companies DaimlerChrysler, Babco, and ZF plan to produce a new automobile, AK&M reported on 30 October. KamAZ's acting vice president, Danis Valeev, said the companies' representatives are negotiating the project on assembly at KamAZ. The vehicle will be equipped with a DaimlerChrysler engine, a Babco-made controlling system, and a ZF gear-box.

KamAZ is also negotiating with Chinese auto maker Dung Feng on the opening of a KamAZ assembly line in China, IMA-press reported on 31 October.

Parliament To Discuss Shaimiev's Budget Message
The State Council presidium on 31 October set its next plenary session for 21 November to discuss a budget message from President Shaimiev, Tatarstan Radio reported.

Loss-Making Companies To Face Stricter Measures
Aleksei Semin, the head of the republican committee on bankruptcy, said that bankruptcy is unavoidable for enterprises facing losses, reported. He said his committee in the past 30 months has initiated bankruptcy proceedings at just one in 30 companies that are effectively insolvent, noting that the rate of unprofitable enterprises in Tatarstan is 7 percent lower than the Russian average; two years ago, it exceeded the Russian average by 5 percent. He said in the past two years, 76 percent of companies have restructured their debts and became profitable. He stressed that loss-making companies can appeal to restructure their debts until 1 December, after which "strict measures" will be taken against them.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkortostan Remains Seventh On List Of Donor Regions
Galiya Lukmanova, the deputy head of the Tax Ministry's board in Bashkortostan, said her ministry has collected 37.3 billion rubles in revenues in the first nine months of the year, reported on 31 October. Under the new regime of budget relations between Moscow and Ufa, 49 percent of that sum -- 220 percent more than in the year 2000 -- was transferred to Moscow. Bashkortostan's budget revenues rose 18.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Tatenergo Delegation Joins Uralenergo Exhibition In Ufa
Representatives of Tatenergo and the Bogelme electricity networks took part in the international trade fair Uralenergo-2001 in Ufa, reported on 31 October. Tatenergo executives held talks with their counterparts from Bashkirenergo to coordinate their work under an existing agreement between Bashkirenergo and Tatenergo.

Rakhimov Promotes Small Businesses
President Murtaza Rakhimov signed a decree on establishing industrial-technological centers for small businesses, Bashinform reported on 31 October. The document aims to encourage the use of idle premises by small businesses and introduces tax breaks.

Bashkortostan, Austria To Cooperate In Paper Production, Energy Conservation
A Russian-Austrian inter-governmental commission on technical and economic cooperation on 31 October approved two joint projects to be realized in Bashkortostan, reported. Valentina Matvienko, Russia's deputy prime minister and the commission's co-chair, said the first venture will manufacture offset paper while the other will foster energy conservation efforts at Bashteploenergo.

Ufa Administration Promotes Patriotic Youth Education
A joint meeting of the Ufa administration and the city council of war, labor, and armed forces veterans adopted a five-year program for the patriotic education of youths and training draftees, Bashinform reported on 31 October.

Government, Soros Fund Sign Cooperation Accord
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov and the president of George Soros-backed Open Society fund in Russia signed a cooperation agreement on 31 October in Ufa, RIA-Novosti reported. Baidavletov said the thrust of the effort will be promotion of legal reform and penal reform. Open Society's Russia President Yekaterina Genieva said the fund will help create libraries in the republic's prisons and penal institutions.

Bashkortostan's libraries are included in the program, "The Pushkin Library," under which they will receive 55 million rubles' worth of books, journals, videos, and compact discs. Genieva said the fund has already opened an Internet center at Bashkir University.

Novgorod Governor Calls For Regions' Economic Freedom
Novgorod Governor Mikhail Prusak called for amending the Russian Constitution at a press conference with reporters in Bashkortostan on 31 October. He said it is impossible to form a true civil society in Russia under the existing constitution. Prusak sharply criticized the current system, which he said deprives regions of economic freedom. He called for governors to be appointed rather than elected, but added that the leaders of national republics should be elected.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova