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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 28, 1999

28 January 1999
Shaimiev's Strong Comments At Federalism Conference
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said at a 26 January Moscow conference on federalism that he was defending "the interests of the national-territorial formations" that were under attack by Moscow's "unconcealed aspiration" to transform Russia into a unitary state. He added that a "barrier should be made against these attempts." Shaimiev said that the "national-territorial formations" have no legislative opportunity to defend their interests, since not even a Nationalities Chamber, such as existed during the Soviet period, exists today.

Shaimiev said "no one intends to break" the Russian Federation's integrity. He said Kazan often receives complaints from Russian ministries about laws in Tatarstan that do not correspond to Russian legislation or the Russian Constitution. He said such discrepancies do exist, but that the constitutions of many Russian republics were adopted before the Russian Constitution was. He said both the Russian and republican constitutions should be amended to rectify the problems.

Official: Plan For Changing Tatarstan's Status Doesn't Exist
A plan to change Tatarstan's status within the Russian Federation is not possible, Rafail Khakimov, the state adviser to the Tatar president, said in an interview with Tatar-Inform. Khakimov said that politicians that are calling for a revision of the 1994 Tatarstan-Russia Treaty are "far from political reality." He added that "if Russia had one more opposition leader like Mintimer Shaimiev, it would be a real catastrophe for it."

Chally Mayor Moving To Moscow?
Tatar radio's Moscow correspondent reported that Chally Mayor Rafgat Altynbaev will soon give up his post to accept a position as the Deputy Railway Communication Minister in Moscow.

Three Schools In Tatarstan Participate In All-Russian Teachers' Strike
Just three schools in Tatarstan joined an all-Russian teachers' strike on 27 January, Tatar-Inform agency reported. The schools participating are all located in Chally, one of the republic's most economically depressed districts where every teacher is owed an average of some 3,000 rubles. Chally teachers decided at a meeting the previous day not to join the strike but to sign a new agreement with the local education department. Under the agreement, the debt to the Chally teachers would be fully paid by 1 April. It also stated that half of all wages owed will be paid in cash, the other half in goods and services.

According to the report, the total debt to education sector employees in Tatarstan decreased over in the first few weeks of 1999 by some 200 million rubles, roughly half of the remaining sum to be paid.

Compiled by G. Khasanova