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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 13, 1999

13 May 1999
Tatarstan's President Comments On Primakov's Sacking...
Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov and his government should not have been "sacrificed" at this time, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told Interfax on 12 May. Shaimiev said he highly valued Primakov's efforts after the financial crisis of 17 August, saying his work at this time "gave Yevgenii Primakov the respect of the Russian people." He said Primakov's actions after the crisis were "unavoidable" and added that "nobody could do more than Primakov did." Shaimiev said the "government was bound to approach the left-wing opposition [for support]. Reality made Primakov search for compromises with the most influential Communist faction in the Russian parliament." Later, Shaimiev told the press conference that it would be difficult for Yeltsin's staff to get the Russian Duma to approve the candidacy of Sergei Stepashin for prime minister.

...And Yeltsin's Impeachment
In his interview with Interfax, President Shaimiev referred to the impeachment procedure against Yeltsin, saying it "wasn't timely, because there is only half a year left till the expiration of the present [Duma] deputies' terms and one year left till the end of Yeltsin's term." Shaimiev said he was sure that the impeachment process "wouldn't even make it half of the way." He said "this is the first time we [have gone through] such a procedure [and] it will be stalled by the imperfections of Russian legislation." Shaimiev said "in any case, the deputies' undertaking might cause an unstable situation in the country. The majority in the Duma is trying to put more pressure on Yeltsin to ensure themselves more favorable terms in [the next] elections."

Tatarstan's Representatives In Vsya Rossia Movement Elected
Tatarstan's branch of the Vsya Rossia movement elected Nail Khusnutdinov, the prefect of the Iske-Tatar area in Kazan, its chairman on 12 May. Some of the 22 delegates at the session chosen to represent Tatarstan at Vsya Rossia's founding congress in St. Petersburg on 22 May included Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev; State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin (who is also the movement's coordinator); the Russian Duma deputy from Tatarstan, Oleg Morozov; Shaimiev's state advisor, Rafael Khakimov; the chairman of the World Congress of Tatars' Executive Committee, Indus Tagirov; the rector of Kazan State University, Yuri Konoplev; and the first deputy mayor of Kazan, Murad Gadelshin.

Vsya Rossia Coordinator Comments On Primakov's Departure
"This is a serious mistake, which will be followed by severe consequences for Russia," said Oleg Morozov, the coordinator of the Vsya Rossia movement and the leader of the Rossiyskiye Regioni (Russian Regions) faction in the Russian Duma, in response to the firing of Premier Yevgenii Primakov on 12 May. "Obviously, the Russian economy will revert back to the position it had in August as the new government will not be able to overcome the situation in the following weeks and months."

Presidents Advisor Says Frequent Changes In Russian Cabinet Lead To Instability
In an interview with republican media on 12 May, presidential advisor Rafael Khakimov said that Russia's acting Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin was an "experienced, sober-minded, and progressive politician, able to find common language with the Russian parliament." He added that the frequent "reshuffles in the Russian cabinet bring general instability to the country."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi