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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 13, 1999

13 July 1999
Shaimiev: Primakov May Join Strongest Movement
A union of the Otechestvo and Vsya Rossia movements could be the most attractive and acceptable bloc for former Premier Yevgenii Primakov, Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev said on 12 July, commenting on the alleged offer from Otechestvo leader Yurii Luzhkov for Primakov to join the Moscow mayor's movement. Shaimiev added that his Vsya Rossia movement is holding intensive negotiations on uniting with Otechestvo, he told Interfax. Shaimiev stated that he disagreed with claims that the new regional movements had led to a growing separatist sentiment that threatened to dismantle the Russian Federation. Referring to the possible union of Russia and Belarus, Shaimiev said that if such a union was formed "Tatarstan would make its own claims regarding its role and status in [such a] formation." Shaimiev said that if it was a political and economic union of two sovereign states no one would object to it. Shaimiev doubted that Belarus would agree to give up its sovereignty, and that "this makes talk about forming a new state unreal in current conditions," he said.

Udmurt Deputies Meet With Tatar Parliament Speaker
Ten percent of the newly elected parliament in the neighboring Republic of Udmurtia is made up of ethnic Tatar deputies, Tatrinform reported. Three deputies from Udmurtia met with Tatarstan State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin during his trip to the Agryz region of Tatarstan on 12 July in an effort to maximize the benefits of the Tatar faction in the parliament. Mukhametshin invited the deputies to visit Kazan to increase ties and share experiences.

Group Prepared To Strike For Election Law Change
An group calling itself the "Round table of political forces in Tatarstan" intends to go on a hunger strike in an effort to get the parliament to amend republican legislation Tatarstan's election law, the republican press reported. Several political parties, including the nationalist Ittifak Party led by Fauzia Bayramova and the Russian Social Democratic Party protested the existing election law, which elects people by administrative area. The group insists on arranging the elections by party lists.

Tatarstan To Strengthen Ties With Belarus
Belarusian Foreign Minister Ural Latipov met with Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev and State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin on 10 July in Kazan. The sides reportedly discussed bilateral ways to promote economic cooperation between Kazan and Minsk.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi