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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 26, 2002

26 July 2002
Tadzhuddin Backs Demands Of Muslim Women
Supreme Mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin has backed Muslim women who demanded permission to have their pictures taken in headscarves for new passports, "Vremya MN" reported on 20 July. The daily commented that "any woman of the Orient can protect her rights in court" but such a move by the head of widespread religion "looks like an attempt to turn our secular state into a religious one" and puts "pressure on the court."

Meanwhile, the co-chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia and the supreme mufti of the Muslim Religious Board of Asian Russia, Nafigulla Ashirov, told Ekho Moskvy on 19 July that the prohibition of Muslim women wearing headscarves in passport photographs "is a direct violation of their religious rights and freedoms." More than a hundred appeals on the issue were received by Tatarstan's Interior Ministry.

Tatarstan Among Volga District's Leaders In Terms Of Retail Sale
Tatarstan provided 10th-largest volume of retail sale in Russia and third-largest in the Volga Federal District following Samara Oblast and Bashkortostan in the first six months of the year, Tatar Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Khafiz Salikhov told a briefing of the Cabinet of Ministers on 23 July. Retail trade turnover in the republic increased by 10 percent to 34.7 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) compared to the previous year.

Foreign Trade Growing
Tatarstan's foreign trade turnover grew by 34 percent to $1.4 billion in the first six months of the year compared to the previous year, reported on 25 July citing the press service of Tatarstan's customs bureau. Exports increased by 39 percent and imports by 13 percent. Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Finland, and Poland were the republic's leading trade partners during this period. Petrol and oil products, synthetic rubber, ethylene, aircraft, and trucks dominated exports while engines, pipes, and agricultural machinery made up the majority of imports.

Tatarstan To Purchase Tubes From Ukraine
The Tatar government and Ukraine's Interpaip scientific-industrial investment group signed a partnership agreement on 25 July in Kazan, reported the same day. Under the agreement, Interpaip will deliver production of Ukrainian pipe plants to Tatarstan. Nizhnedneprovskii Truboprokatnyi Zavod already has contracts with the Kazanskoe Aviatsionnoe Proizvodstvennoe Obyedinenie aviation plant and with Tatneft, to which it has delivered 110,000 tons of pipes. Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said the republic needs some 800,000 tons of ferrous metal-rolling production a year and that the price proposed by Interpaip is "quite acceptable." He stressed that Ukraine has long been a strategic partner of Tatarstan as the republic processes its oil at the Kremenchug refinery and is interested in selling trucks on the Ukrainian market. A presentation of Tatar companies is to held in Ukraine soon, he said.

The Interpaip corporation unites three tube plants -- Nizhnedneprovskii Truboprokatnyi Zavod, Novomoskovskii Trubnyi Zavod, and Nikopolskii Zavod Besshovnykh Trub -- as well as Alchevskii Metallurgicheskii Kombinat and Mogilevskii Meallurgicheskii Zavod.

Tatarstan Has Second-Largest Volume Of Collected Taxes In Volga District
Tatarstan's tax bodies collected 28.4 billion rubles ($900.7 million), or 28 percent up from the previous year, in budget revenues in the first six months of the year, the head of the Russian Tax Ministry's board in Tatarstan, Rinat Khairov, told a board meeting on 25 July, reported the same day. Some 46.5 percent of the sum and 80 percent more than the previous year, or 13.2 billion rubles ($418.6 million), were transferred to the federal budget, while 53.5 percent, 1 percent more than the previous year, or 15.2 billion rubles ($482 million), were paid to the republican budget. Tatarstan ranks second in the Volga Federal District following Samara Oblast in terms of the volume of collected taxes. However, Khairov said the republic's 15 raions failed to implement their plans on collection of taxes.

Conference 'Greater Volga Rout' To Hold Session In St. Petersburg
A scientific conference on "The Greater Volga Rout" devoted to Kazan's millennium will open in St. Petersburg in early August, Tatar-inform reported on 25 July. The conference is intended to discuss the issue of the developing cultural, ethnic, and confessional relations in the regions of the Greater Volga rout. The forum will become the second stage of the project launched last August under the aegis of UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the International Center for Islamic History, Art, and Culture Studies. The first stage of the conference was held in Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Volgograd, and Astrakhan and discussed the role of the Greater Volga rout in developing contacts between Turkic, European, Slavic, Finno-Ugric, Scandinavian cultures and the Middle East.

'Kursk' Crew Monument To Be Delivered To Moscow
A monument to the crew of the "Kursk" submarine lost in the Barents Sea two years ago that was cast at Kazan's VKNIIVOLT plant by the order of the Russian Defense Ministry is to be shipped to Moscow on 25 July, reported on 24 July. The monument will be opened on 12 August in Moscow near the Military Forces Museum. The monument, being 4.5-meters high and featuring a sailor and a submarine, was designed by sculptor Lev Kerbel and architect Igor Voznesenskii.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Not A Single Worker, Peasant Elected To Chavash Legislature
Heads of large companies dominate in Chavashia's new State Council, which was elected on 21 July, while not a single worker or peasant became a parliamentarian, "NTA Privolzhe" reported on 24 July. Among the 71 newly elected deputies, there are 20 members of the previous State Council, seven women, and six representatives of the Communist Party and People's Party of Russia. Some 31 percent of the electorate took part in the voting while in two electoral districts in the capital of Cheboksary, where less than 25 percent took part, repeated voting is to be held.

New Muslim Newspaper Published In Samara Oblast
The first issue of the Islamic newspaper "Bulgar" was published in Syzran, Samara Oblast, reported on 19 July. The biweekly print-run of 1,000 copies is intended to focus on the religious and cultural enlightenment of local Muslims. Some 12,000 Muslims live in Syzran.

Presidential Administration Official Says Power-Sharing Treaties To Be Harmonized...
Russian deputy presidential administration head Dmitrii Kozak told a meeting devoted to the reform of local self-government in the Ural Federal District on 23 July in Sverdlovsk that the Russian government does not insist on the annulment of all power-sharing treaties between federation subjects and Moscow, Uralinformbureau reported on 24 July. Kozak said the government has already begun talks with leaders of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Yakutia, and Sverdlovsk Oblast to harmonize bilateral treaties with federal legislation. If the process is not finished by 1 August, Kozak said, regional and district prosecutors will be empowered to demand annulment of those treaties as contradicting federal law. Meanwhile, Sverdlovsk Oblast Governor Eduard Rossel said on 25 July that the power-sharing treaty between the oblast and Moscow will not be revised and amended. Rossel stressed that the treaty is an absolutely legitimate document since it was signed from the federal side by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin. If any provisions of the document contradict federal legislation, they will lose their validity, so no amendments are needed, he said.

...Promotes Mechanism For Dismissing Municipal Heads
Speaking at the same meeting, Kozak called for developing a special procedure to dismiss heads of municipal bodies in case they face bankruptcy, Uralinformbureau reported on 25 July. Kozak said federal authorities are to introduce external management in such municipal entities and dismiss their heads. Kozak also called for developing principles of equalizing rights of regions to receive subsidies from Moscow, "Novyi region" reported on 24 July. Kozak said financial help given by Moscow to federation subjects currently depends on relations between Russian Finance Ministry officials and representatives of financial bodies of federation subjects. Kozak said the principles of distributing subsidies should be developed and established in legislation in order to avoid unfairness in this sphere.

Federal Commission Recommends Depriving Yekaterinburg's ATN TV Of License
The Federal Competition Commission decided on 24 July to recommend the Media Ministry not prolong the broadcast license of Yekaterinburg's ATN television and to announce a competition for frequencies used by the station, "Novyi region" reported on 25 July citing First Deputy Media Minister Mikhail Seslavinskii. The license of ATN, which broadcast on channel 34 in Yekaterinburg, was cancelled for the use subliminal advertising in television programs.

TV, Radio Company Head Killed In Ulyanovsk
Nikolai Razmolodin, the general director of the TV and radio company Yevroproyekt, which transmits in Ulyanovsk Oblast the programs of radio stations Yevropa Plyus, Russkoe Radio, and Shanson, was killed in Ulyanovsk on 20 July, reported on 24 July. Razmolodin was getting out of his car near the site where a new office of the TV and radio company is being constructed when someone shot him and disappeared. Razmolodin was with his 6-year-old daughter, who was the only witness to the murder. The agency cited representatives of law enforcement bodies as commenting that they believe it was a contract murder. Razmolodin was also a founder of the Yevropeidzh paging company and co-owner of a network of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Over past time he was establishing a digital communications network. One local newspaper published an article reporting about a conflict between Razmolodin and his business partner, Ulyanovsk Deputy Mayor Viktor Moiseev, a day before the murder. The conflict was reportedly connected with the purchase of shares in the Venets hotel.

VAZ Opens Assembly Line In Egypt...
Assembly of VAZ-2107 vehicles from spares delivered by AvtoVAZ began in Egypt on 20 July, reported the next day. Till the end of the year, some 1,500 VAZ-2107s will be assembled while in 2003-04, the VAZ-2110 and Niva models will also be assembled and production is to be increased to 5,000 a year.

...As Does UAZ In Venezuela
The Ulyanovskii Avtomobilnyi Zavod will begin assembling its vehicles in the city of Barquisimeto of Venezuela, "NTA Privolzhe" reported on 19 July. The agreement on setting up a UAZ assembly line was reached during the negotiations with Venezuela President Hugo Chavez in late May.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova