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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 3, 1999

3 March 1999
Shaimiev To Give Annual Address To Parliament
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, will deliver his annual address to the State Council on 11 March. Among the topics to be discussed are a bill on the republic's law code, amendments to laws on taxation and duties, the details of a draft program for Tatarstan's youth for 1999-2000, and a listing of measures to be taken in the coming years to combat drug abuse and the drug trade, the State Council's press center reported.

President Forms Aviation Council, Supports Timber Industry
President Shaimiev issued a decree on 2 March on the formation of a republican Council on the Aviation Industry, state media reported. State Council chairman Farid Mukhametshin was appointed as chairman of the council. Shaimiev also signed a decree in support of companies involved in the timber industry. The decree affords certain tax privileges to the companies in an effort to improve their financial situations.

Volga Region Manufacturers To Cooperate In Transport Industries
The Committee of the Association Bolshaya Volga Industry met in Kazan on 2 March to discuss interregional cooperation and the possibility of coordinating industrial policies. Participants considered the prospects of joint bus production involving the Pavlovsky bus plant and KamAZ, and cooperation in the chemical, petrochemical, and packing industries. Working groups were created to develop common projects in the aviation industry and bus production, Tatar radio and television reported.

Officer Says Merger Of Volga And Ural Military Districts Premature
Tatarstan's Major-General Rim Mustayev, the republic's enlistment officer, said a merging of the Volga and Ural military districts would be premature. Mustayev was commenting on a proposal made by the Russian defense minister in an interview with Tatar-Inform on 2 March. He said the measure "is a prospect," although until the proper financing for such an action is available, only "then could such a decision be made." Mustayev said a recent session of the board of the Russian Defense Ministry that he attended in Samara was of great importance in strengthening the defensive ability of both Russia and Tatarstan.

Drugs Smuggling On The Increase In Bashkortostan
More than two kilograms of heroin were found on a train passenger by the Ufa transport police, Bashinform-Tatar-inform reported on 2 March. Several months ago, the Interior Ministry's transport department confiscated more than 30 kilograms of marijuana being carried by another traveller. Representatives from Ufa's Transport Prosecutor's Office said most of the drugs are transported on the Astana-Moscow, Pavlodar-Moscow, and Vladivostok-Kharkov railway routes. They said Bashkortostan has become a major crossing point for drug smugglers and that more than one-third of crimes on the republic's railways are linked to drugs.

Tatar And American Women Lawyers Forge Cooperation
The Kazan State University received a grant from the American US Information Agency (USIA) which will send two female lawyers from Tatarstan to the National Judicial College (in Nevada) for seminars. A Russian-American seminar titled "Women Are Leaders in Society" will be held within the framework of the project from 14 to 20 March in Kazan. Another seminar, due to be attended by female judges from the Volga-Vyatka okrug, will take place in Nizhny Novgorod on 22-26 March, Tatar-inform reported.

International Telephone Tariffs To Be Raised
Tariffs for international telephone calls originating in Tatarstan will be raised by an average of more than 20 percent beginning on 10 March. Prices will vary depending on the country and continent, Tatar-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova