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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 25, 2000

25 October 2000
Shaimiev Tops Political Influence Poll
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, finished first in the daily "Izvestiya's" poll measuring the political influence of Russia's regional leaders since the beginning of Russian President Vladimir Putin's federal reforms. The poll was carried out by the Political Technologies Center, which described Shaimiev as "a leader of a big republic with a key geopolitical position who managed to form a stable regime in Tatarstan and ensure its special conditions in relations with the federal center." According to the newspaper, Shaimiev has the strongest position in his republic compared to the positions of other leaders in the entities of the Russian Federation.

Tatarstan's President Inspects Construction Site In Kazan
President Shaimiev visited the construction site of the underground trade center on Bauman Street in the capital on 24 October. He told republican TV the same day that the project was "a good idea. Of course, money will be required for implementing it, but serious business cannot be made without money." Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov hosted the president's visit, commenting on the future look of Bauman Street near the Kazan Hotel. According to previous reports in the media, despite the reasonable number of local construction companies, the city hired Turkish constructors to build the three-level underground mall.

Tatarstan Looking For Ways To Expand Trade With Japan
President Shaimiev met with the managing director of the Iskra Industry Ltd. Company, Toge Takasi, on 24 October. Takasi told Shaimev that his company is interested in sharing Tatarstan's original technologies in medical equipment production and the chemical industry. He said: "we are interested in developing our cooperation with Tatarstan, that's why we are ready to discuss any of your offers."

Tatarstan's first deputy minister of trade and economic cooperation, Marat Murtazin, told the reporters after the meeting that the current trade turnover between Japan and Tatarstan was "insufficient, only about $5 million." The Japanese delegation planned to visit the Kazan Medical Instruments Plant, the Kazan Optic Mechanical Plant, the Kazan Organic Chemistry Institute named after Arbuzov, and Kazan branches of the KamAZ automotive works and the Tuben Kama Chemical Plant on 25 October.

Families Of "Kursk" Sailors From Bashkortostan To Receive Aid
The citizens of Bashkortostan raised about 1 million rubles for the four families of the sunken "Kursk" crew members that were from the republic, Bashkortostan's Security Council secretary, Aleksandr Shabrin, told a press conference in Ufa on 24 October. He said that some of the relatives of the sailors recruited in Bashkortostan have already received free apartments or had their houses repaired with the help of the republican government. Shabrin noted in his speech that Bashkortostan's president, Mirtaza Rakhimov, and Prime Minister Fidus Yamaltdinov, pledged their personal attention to any problems experienced by the deceased sailors' families.

Shabrin said the donations will be given directly to the sailors' families via the Red Cross organization.

Bashneft To Prospect Oil In Chelyabinsk
Bashkortostan's Bashneft oil company will prospect for oil in Chelyabinsk Oblast according to a contract soon to be signed by the Bashneft and Chelyabinsk Natural Resources Committee, Ural-Press-Inform agency reported on 25 October. The first oil well is reportedly to be installed in November 2001.

By Iskender Nurmi