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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 4, 1999

4 March 1999
Interbudget Talks Resume
Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov visited Moscow on 4 March to continue negotiations on the interbudget treaty between Tatarstan and Russia, state television reported. The Russian side has reportedly agreed that levies collected from oil drilling, alcohol production, and car sales be kept by Tatarstan, while the issues of income from oil exports and custom duties remain unresolved. Gelii Kobelev, chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of the State Council, said in an interview with Tatar television on 4 March that Tatarstan isn't willing to transfer the income from the export of oil, which made some 600 million rubles last year, to the federal budget as Moscow has insisted.

Kazan Officials Concerned By Rise In Car Accidents...
Rifkat Minnikhanov, the head of Tatarstan's Inspection Board for Traffic Safety, said those who break traffic regulations will face "sheer terror" in an effort to reduce the number of accidents. Minnikhanov reported at a press-conference on 4 March that the number of road accidents in 1999 rose by 40 percent compared to the same period last year. He listed bad weather, the poor state of roads, and an increase in the number of vehicles as the main reasons for the worsening statistics.

.... And Drug Addiction
Tatarstan's interior minister, Asgat Safarov, said the number of crimes linked to drugs has increased by 36 percent this year compared to 1998. Safarov made his comments at a session of the Legislative Committee of Tatarstan's State Council on 4 March at which a republican program for combating drug abuse and drug trade was discussed. Safarov said the number of charges brought against drug dealers was 25 percent higher in 1999 than it was in 1997. He said almost 60 percent of those charged are younger than 24. Of known drug addicts, some 80 percent were juveniles, he added. Measures to be undertaken by the government will be discussed at a State Council plenary session on 11 March.

State And Private Forces To Jointly Fight Crime
A republican conference was held on 4 March to discuss ways of fighting crime. The conference was organized by the State Council's Legislative Committee, various law enforcement bodies, and the Chamber for Trade and Industry. Participants considered measures against white-collar crime. It was agreed that a joint effort by republican law enforcement bodies and private security companies would best protect entrepreneurs from criminality, Tatar television reported.

International Seminar On Russia's Future Held
The prospects for Russia's integration into international economic and democratic systems were discussed at a Russian-American seminar called "Russia's Future: The Problems of Political, Social, and Cultural Security," on 3-4 March in Kazan, Tatar television reported. The seminar was held within the framework of a project titled "The Prospects for Russian-American Partnership in the 21st Century" led by academic Yevgeny Velikhov, the president of the Russian scientific center, the Kurchatovsky Institute. The forum was attended by representatives from the Russian presidential administration, the Federation Council, scientists from the Potomac Fund, and the American Council for the Protection of the Environment. Participants listed nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, military-technological security, the economy, health care, and ecological protection as being important in order for Russia to overcome its social and economic crises.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova