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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 8, 2000

8 June 2000
Shaimiev's Press Secretary Says Presidential Election To Be In March
Irek Murtazin, the press secretary of Tatarstan's president, told the daily "Vechernyaya Kazan" on 7 June that the president election in Tatarstan will be held in March, and that incumbent Mintimer Shaimiev has not still decided whether he will run. Murtazin was interviewed by the daily so as to clear rumors that the presidential poll will be held this summer, which Murtazin denies. Murtazin was asked about the number of presidential terms Shaimiev is able to be elected for, since according to the Russian Constitution, it cannot be more than two. He said Shaimiev was elected for the first time in 1991, two years before the Russian Constitution was adopted, so that means that Shaimiev could still run once again as the new term-limit legislation is not retroactive. Commenting on the offer Russian President Vladimir Putin made to Shaimiev, "the general-governorship," Murtazin suggested that certain conditions were discussed [by Shaimiev and Putin] under which Shaimiev would accept the offer, for example, if he was able to serve concurrently as president of Tatarstan, and if Kazan was chosen as the capital of the new Volga federal district. Murtazin said he is sure that Tatarstan's communists, the opposition bloc "Ravnopraviye i Zakonnost," and the nationalist opposition will propose candidates to run for president.

KamAZ Exports Oka
The KamAZ truck concern signed contracts last month for deliveries of the small car Oka to Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine, Kama-press reported on 7 June. Som 2,000 of the cars will be sold to Egypt, and a purchase of 200 cars was negotiated with a Lebanese delegation several days ago. A German agency will promote the Okas.

Oil Companies Still Don't Need Production-Sharing Agreements
Representatives from Russia's leading oil companies--LukOil, YuKOS, Sibneft, and Rosneft--said at a nationwide meeting in Elmet that production-sharing agreements will most likely be signed only after oil prices decrease, Tatar Television reported on 7 June. In the meantime, Moscow and Kazan continue negotiations on a production-sharing agreement at Tatarstan's oldest oil deposit, Romashkino. While Moscow's proposal is to share income equally, Kazan has agreed thus far to give Moscow only 20 percent. Valery Garipov, Russia's deputy fuel and energy minister, told Tatar Television at the meeting that "the golden mean should be found here." He expressed hope that Tatarstan's leaders will consistently settle these problems with Russian officials.

Nationalists Hold Meeting To Defend Tatarstan's Sovereignty
Tatarstan's nationalist opposition, the Tatar Public Center, announced on 7 June that it will organize a rally on 12 June in Kazan that will be devoted to the current political situation in the country and will be held under the motto "Tatarstan's Sovereignty in Danger."

Tatarstan's Mufti Visits The Emirates
The chairman of Tatarstan's Muslims Religious Board, Gusman khazrat Iskhakov, will fly to the United Arab Emirates on 8 June to hold negotiations with charity organizations, among them the Zaed charity fund, Tatar-inform reported. The aim of the negotiations is to secure funds for the restoration of several mosques in districts around Tatarstan that were destroyed by fire and for the completion of mosques in several of the republic's villages.

By Gulnara Khasanova