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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 28, 2001

28 November 2001
Duma Committee Backs Extra Subsidies To Tatarstan, Bashkortostan
The Budget Committee of the Russian State Duma on 27 November approved a government-backed bill on allotting 20.9 billion rubles ($699 million) to the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, AK&M agency reported. The one-time transfer is aimed at compensating for drastic cuts in those republics' incomes due to this year's federal tax reform and "smoothing their transition to the federal taxation sphere."

Prime Ministers To Discuss Tuben Kama Water Reserve
The prime ministers of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Udmurtia are meeting in Izhevsk on 28 November to discuss the rising water level at Tuben Kama water reserve, boosting the output of the republics' hydroelectric plants but also potentially flooding some areas in Bashkortostan and Udmurtia.

According to Tatarstan press reports before the meeting, Prime Ministers Rustam Minnikhanov and Rafael Baydavletov of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, respectively, could also resume talks on integrating their republics' oil-processing industries. During a recent bilateral meeting in Ufa, Ural Rakhimov, the chairman of Bashneftekhim oil and chemical company and President Rakhimov's son, effectively halted those negotiations by saying that there were no decent experts in oil processing in Tatarstan.

Ramshackle Housing Program Features 'Traditional Drawbacks'
"Vechernaya Kazan" on 27 November reported that 1,300 Kazan families currently living in ramshackle housing will get free apartments in the city's new Azino neighborhood this year. As in previous years, construction companies are reported to be rushing to finish the apartment blocks in November-December. Families will thus have to move during the tough winter season, with the added threat of possible heating and power supply failures in the new houses.

Tatar Youth Leaders From Russia, CIS Gather In Kazan
A conference of Tatar youth organization leaders from over 30 regions of Russia and the CIS began in the Kazan Cultural Center on 28 November, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported. President Mintimer Shaimiev said in his message to the participants that "[You] can be proud of taking over the heritage of people with a millennium[-old] history and rich cultural traditions.... You should use this potential effectively for the benefit of Tatar people, in the name of friendship among Russia's peoples and democratic renewal in the Russian Federation."

Tax Police Report Growing Efficiency
Tatarstan's Tax Police were quoted by the republican state TV on 27 November as saying that their efficiency had doubled in 2001, with 984 cases of large-scale tax evasion uncovered and 6 billion rubles ($200.6 million) in unpaid taxes delivered to the budget.

Tatenergo Continues To Deny Russian Company's Charges
Tatenergo refused to take part in hearings by an arbitration court under Russia's United Energy Systems (RUES), "Vremya i Dengi" daily reported on 28 November. The company's chief engineer, Yuri Shelokov, told the paper that Tatenergo would agree to take part in the sessions of a "normal arbitration court" rather than the one within Unified Energy Systems' structure. Tatarstan's biggest heat and power supplier, together with similar companies from some Bashkortostan and Irkutsk oblasts, continue to reject the Russian electricity giant's demands to pay RUES-imposed membership fees. RUES has refrained from appealing to a federal arbitrage court, building confidence among regional companies in the merits of their case.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Declares Interest In Tatarstan Business Ties
Tatarstan's plenipotentiary representative in Moscow, Nazif Mirikhanov, met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail upon the latter's request on 27 November, Tatar-inform reported. The foreign minister stated his country's interest in the republic's oil-drilling technologies and KamAZ trucks.

Ismail also greeted Tatarstan's and Russia's Muslims in connection with the holy month of Ramadan.

KamAZ Increases Exports
KamAZ automotive concern boosted its exports by 16.7 percent in 2001 and has already sold 3,000 trucks abroad, Tatarstan state radio reported on 27 November.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Emergency Services To Apply For More Funding Next Year
Senior officials in Bashkortostan's Emergencies Ministry agreed on 27 November that recent developments make it essential to prepare the residents of Bashkortostan for possible acts of terrorism. The ministry will reportedly apply for more funding in order to arrange a secondary control body, which is to backup the republic's government in emergency situations.

Kazakh Corporation To Extract Copper Ore In Bashkortostan
Vladimir Kim, the president of Kazakhstan-based Kazakhmis copper-mining company, and Bashkortostan Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov signed a 10-year contract on copper extraction in Bashkortostan's Sibay region on 27 November in Ufa. Some $200-250 million is expected to be invested in Russian and Bashkortostan's metal factories in the next decade by Kazakhstan, ITAR-TASS reported.

Bashkortostan President Meets Danish Ambassador
President Murtaza Rakhimov met Denmark's ambassador to Moscow, Lars Vissing, on 27 November in Ufa, the presidential press service reported. The ambassador told Rakhimov that his country was "strongly interested" in cooperation with Bashkir industry.

Bashkortostan's Military Praised For High Draft Figures
Bashkortostan's chief military commissioner, Timofey Azarov, said on 27 November that the chief commanders of the Volga-Ural military okrug (district) called his the best-performing office in 2001 and awarded him with "a valuable prize."

Bashkreditbank Named Among Top 10 Of Russian Banks
"Profil" magazine included Bashkreditbank among Russia's top 10 banks by biggest capital on 27 November. Bashkreditbank is the country's ninth-biggest bank with capital of 4.592 billion rubles ($154 million). Russian Sberbank, Vneshtorgbank, and Mezhdunarodniy Promishelniy Bank top the list.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi