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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 12, 2001

12 January 2001
Russia, EBRD Ready To Accord on KamAZ Debts�
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has approved an agreement between the Russian Federation and the EBRD for a $705 million creditline for KamAZ, the governmental information department reported on 29 December. The accord restructures the company's debt under a guarantee from Moscow. Kasyanov told his finance minister to reach an agreement with Kazaan about corresponding republic-level guarantees.

� As KamAZ Boosts Exports�
KamAZ General Manager Ivan Kostin on 6 January said that his copany will incease exports from ten to 25 percent over the next year, reported. According to its 2001 business-plan, the company will produce $535 million worth of goods, 40 percent more than last year, and use some of its earnings to improve production. Kostin added that KamAZ plans to add 3500 workers during the year and that the average monthly salary of employees will be 4,000 rubles ($140).

�And Sells More Bus Frames
KamAZ also plans to increase to 500 the number of bus frames to be sold to the Pavlovo bus plant, the MFD-InfoCenter reported on 29 December. Last year, half of the units produced by that company were purchased by Tatarstan.

Tatarstan, Jordan to Operate Join Oil Venture�
Tatneft plans to set up a joint venture in Jordan to recover several oil deposits, RIA-Novosti reported on 2 January. The company�s chief geologist Rais Khisamov said that the jointly owned firm will be financed by Tatarstan. In other comments, he said that Tatneft hopes to cooperate with Iraq as well, as it won a tender for drilling 33 oil wells there.

�As Do YelAZ and Volvo
Natalya Aleshina, a spokeswoman of the Volvo Truck Corporation Russian representation, said on 4 January that her company will begin bus production at the YelAZ plant in Tatarstan, Finmarket reported. She said that over 150 units will be assembled annually.

Disputes Continue On Tatar Script
Duma deputy and the leader of the deputies group �Russian Regions� Oleg Morozov in Trud on 5 January expressed his support of the Tatar alphabet latinization project. He argued that the Tatar Latin script which was used in the republic in 1930s did not create difficulties for the Russian residents or for the Russian state. He called for a �calm and weighed� approach to this question. But the paper carried the same day from a Moscow linguist Vyacheslav Belousov denouncing the change in scripts as "spelling a linguistic revolution in Tatarstan" intended to tie Tatarstan into the Turkish world.

Sverdlovsk Accredits Tatarstan Representation
A Sverdlovsk oblast administration spokesman said on 4 January that Governor Eduard Rossel had ordered the accreditation of Tatarstan�s representation in the oblast, Finmarket reported. The mission was set up by President Mintimer Shaimiev in 1996 and acts on the basis of the 1997 economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation agreement between Tatarstan and Sverdlovsk oblast.

Traffic Accidents Claim 600 Lives in Tatarstan in 2000
The head of Tatarstan�s Traffic Security Inspection board Rifkat Minnikhanov said on 29 December that rayon branches of his organization routinely hide the number of accidents and casualties and that the real number of deaths from the more than 4000 accidents in the republic during 2000 was 610, reported. In other comments,he said that that only 400 kilometers of new roads were constructed last year instead of the planned 500 kilometers.

Youth Crime on the Rise
Crimes committed by children under 14 increased fourfold over the past five years, with especially serious crimes by that group rising even faster, Marat Zaripov, the chief of the Republic Interior Ministry department, told Efir-Inform on 4 January.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Says Harmonization Should be a Two-Way Street
Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov on 29 December told that Moscow and the regions should work together in harmonizing their laws rather than all the burden falling on the regions and republics. He noted that Article 85 of the Federal Constitution specifies that mutual consent is required in such matters. And he said that both Moscow and the regions must obey the constitution. "Any ill-considered action in this complex procedure can sharpen contradictions," Rahkimov said.

Harmonization Efforts Continue in Legislative Chamber
Bashkortostan's Legislative Chamber on 11 January will continue work on harmonizing republic and federal legal acts, Bashinform reported. The deputies also plan to confirm several local judges and adopt a program of work for the spring session.

Ufa International Airport Modernizes
A new terminal opened on 5 January at the Ufa international airport, Bashinform reported. The three-storey 6,500 square meter building had been under construction since the early 1990s. Tagir Mukhametshin, the facility's marketing director, said that the new building will allow the airport to expand capacity from 1.6 million to 2.5 million passengers a year

Small Businesses Get Support In Kumertau
An affiliate of the Bashkortostan Small Business Support and Development Fund has been set up in Kumertau, Bashinform reported on 4 January. Over 17 percent of the city's workforce are employed by 130 small companies. The city Businessmen's Council already had allocated some 1.2 million rubles to help unemployed people start up their own businesses.

Ufa to Expand Support for Mothers
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 6 January signed a decree making 2001 "Mother's Year" in Bashkortostan and calling for the development of measures to help improve the demographic and health situation there, the presidential press service reported. His decree directs the cabinet to increase assistance to mothers, large families, single mothers, disabled children, and maternity hospitals. It also calls for setting up a network of psychological assistance centers for families and youth. Meanwhile, on 3 January, the republic announced plans to spend 260 million rubles ($9.3 million) over the next five years to innoculate the population.

Young People at Risk
Health Minister Saniya Shagarova on 4 January said that she is very worried about the health of young people in the republic, Bashinform reported. She noted that 70 percent of youth do not exercise, that 30 percent are overweight, and that more than 50 percent start drinking with the help of their parents.

Bashkortostan Hopes to Boost Trade with Murmansk
Rodion Shakurov, Bashkortostan representative to Murmansk oblast, said on 4 January that the opening of a trade house in the oblast would meet the republic economic interests, Bashinform reported. He said that Bahskortostan could export boats, medical equipment, and field hospitals to that port and thus gain access to the world market.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Mordovia Harmonizes the Constitution
The Mordovian State Assembly on 10 January amended the republic's Constitution at an extraordinary meeting, reported. The deputies repealed Article 73 on the inviolability of the republic leader and amended Article 70 which still allows the leader to dissolve the legislature. It renamed the Judicial Power paragraph with one called Justices of the Peace and removed the paragraph devoted to the office of the public prosecutor

District Officials Concerned About Underground Sects in Mordovia
Vladimir Zorin, a deputy presidential plenipotentiary representative to the Volga Federal District, met with the republic prosecutor and the head of FSB local branch to discuss the activities of underground sects, reported on 10 January.

Mordovian Birth Rate Falls but Mortality Rises�
Mordovia's State Statistics Committee on 5 January said that the republic's opopulaton had fallen by 1.1 percent in the first eleven months of last year, Stolitsa S reported. During that period, deaths excceed births twofold in the republic as a whole, 1.7 times in cities and 2.8 times in rural locations.

�Especially Among Men
Mordovia's Labor and Employment Minister Lyudmila Ivanova on 11 January said that high mortality of the able-bodied male population is now a major problem, with ever more deaths occuring among younger age groups.

Unemployment Falls in Mordovia
Mordovia's State Statistics Committee on 5 January reported that unemployment had declined by 5,000 people over past year. Registered unemployment now amounts to two percent, the second lowest in the Volga Federal District.

Marii El Asks For More Money�
The federal budget transferred in the current year to Marii El 73 million rubles, reported on 10 January. The payment came after negotiations by the republic President-elect Leonid Markelov with federal officials. But the chief federal inspector in Marii El Valerian Yegorov on 8 January said that the republic budget still faces a deficit of two billion rubles and noted that Moscow will have to provide additional support.

�But Gets Less Gas
Mezhregiongaz on 11 January has reduced gas deliveries to Marii El by 15 percent, reported because of non-payments. The republic branch of the company, Mariiskregiongaz, in turn announced a reduction of gas supplies to consumers despite the cold weather.

Voting in Chuvash Local Elections Begins
Pre-term voting for the 14 January local bodies elections began in Chuvashia, reported on 6 January. Electoral commission head Magsumyan Nurgayanov said that many students from Cheboksary vote early because they will be out of the area on election day. ITAR-TASS reported on 6 January that some of the urban assembly candidates "purchase" votes with vodka or answers to test questions.

Ulyanovsk Governor Takes Office
Ulyanovsk Governor Vladimir Shamanov, who gained fame for his actions in Chechnya and sone infamy for what was an extremely dirty election campaign last fall, assumed office on 6 January, Interfax reported. His official inauguration will take place on 19 January. He has promised to raise the salaries of state employees by 40 percent, free food prices, and increase transport and energy tariffs. And he has pledged an "irreconcilable" fight against crime and corruption. He has also expressed his concerns about the legality of some privatization in the republic and c reated a commission to look into the matter.

Health of Draftees from Ulyanovsk Getting Worse reported on 10 January that 35 percent of draftees from Ulyanovsk were physically unfit when they reported for duty during the fall call-up. The number of drug addicts among them doubled while the number of those infected with HIV increased tenfold.

Saratov To Help Observe Impact of Weapon Destruction
The Saratov regional government on 10 January announced that it would take part in an international ecological monitoring project initiated by TACIS concerning the effects of the destruction of chemical weapons there, Referent-Service reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova