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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 3, 1999

3 December 1999
Shaimiev, Chubais Comment On Duma Elections Campaign
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said at a press conference on 2 December that "every society must have a locomotive to develop progressive ideas, even if those ideas are not yet comprehended by the society." Shaimiev stressed that while being centrist on political issues, the Fatherland-All Russia bloc (OVR) took a right-wing centrist position on economic issues. Shaimiev dismissed any speculation that the OVR will join forces with the Communist Party. He said such rumors are started by rivals of the OVR in an effort to harm it. During the same press conference, Anatolii Chubais, the leader of the Right Forces Union, said he was "glad do see a big number" of his "supporters in Tatarstan, as it was revealed by recent polls." Chubais said that in his opinion the percentage of his Right-wing Forces Union supporters in Tatarstan would be higher than the average figures across Russia. He also stated his discontent with the anti-OVR campaign being conducted by some within the Russian media, emphasizing that along with freedom of speech there also must be some ethical conduct and that freedom of speech and other human rights had been abused since the very beginning of the election campaign.

Agreement Between Tatarstan And United Energy Systems To Be Signed
Anatolii Chubais, who is also the director of United Energy Systems (UES), held talks with President Shaimiev during a visit to Kazan on 2 December. The two reportedly discussed details of the working groups from the UES and Tatenergo Company that are finishing preparations for a power-sharing treaty between the republican and federal governments in regards to the maintenance of power grids. Chubais said that the agreement will be signed in Moscow after the terms between UES and Tatenergo of the electricity transit via Tatarstan's territory are settled.

Bolshaya Volga Association Meeting Held In Mordovia
On 2 December, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev and the repubic's parliamentary speaker, Farit Mukhametshin, visited the Mordovian capital Saransk to attend a conference of the Bolshaya Volga regional association, Tatarinform reported the same day. Russian Premier Vladimir Putin reportedly participated in the conference and discussed the future economic and social development of the region as well as the environmental problems in and around the Volga River area.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi