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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 1, 1999

1 December 1999
Shaimiev Meets With Putin At Kuchma's Inauguration
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, attended the inauguration ceremony and official reception held for Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on 30 November in Kyiv, Tatar media reported. Shaimiev arrived in the Ukrainian capital the previous day and met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko. Bilateral economic and trade ties were discussed at a meeting between the two and Tatarstan's first deputy prime minister, Ravil Muratov. On 30 November Shaimiev met in Kyiv with Russian Premier Vladimir Putin before returning with Muratov to Kazan.

Morozov: Kremlin Fears OVR More Than Communists
The coordinator of the Fatherland-All Russia election bloc, Oleg Morozov, a State Duma deputy from Tatarstan, said on 30 November that "the Kremlin doesn't disguise [the fact] that it fears the election bloc Fatherland-All Russia (OVR) far more than [the] communists." Morozov made his comments in an interview with Tatar-inform that was devoted to the increased attacks by the Russian media on the OVR, its leaders, and especially former Premier Yevgenii Primakov. Morozov said this fear by the Kremlin has led to the hurried creation of the bloc Unity (Yedinstvo), which is headed by the Minister for Emergency Situations, Sergei Shoigu, who was in Kazan on an electoral visit--though he flew on a ministry plane. Morozov considers the position of the OVR's opponents as being weak. He said that Yedinstvo joined in the parliament elections without being a serious political force and created the bloc as a substitute for the current government in the country. In Morozov's opinion, the OVR is the only political force that can lay claim to being a contender to replace the current political regime. He said that under favorable conditions the OVR may form the parliamentary majority and could send experienced managers to serve in the government. He added that it has strong support in the regions.

Tatar Public Center Issues Appeal Against Chechen War
Tatarstan's opposition nationalist movement, the Tatar Public Center (TPC), issued an appeal to the peoples and leaders of the Volga and Ural regions expressing anxiety over the military actions in Chechnya and the situation in the North Caucasus as a whole, Tatar-inform reported on 30 November. The TPC blames the positions of Russian leaders and their refusal to decide the Chechen issue through political methods. It says the failure of Russia's national [ethnic] policy along with the events in Dagestan and the explosions in Moscow and Volgodonsk sowed the seeds of interethnic and interreligious discord, specifically, a negative relation to the representatives of nationalities in the Caucasus, though there is not any proof of Caucasus participation in the explosions that killed nearly 300 civilians. The document criticizes the bias of the Russian media which, it says, presents an unbalanced picture of the military actions in Chechnya and promotes "war, violence, lies, slander, and insult." The appeal calls for the heads of the Volga and Ural regions to hold a forum and demand that Moscow end the military actions in Chechnya and withdraw the troops from the area.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova