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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 4, 2005

4 February 2005
Computer Software Translated Into Tatar
A pilot project to translate software from Microsoft, IBM, and Alt Linux into Tatar has been launched in Tatarstan, "Izvestiya" reported on 31 January. Preliminary consent of the companies has already been obtained. If the project is successful, it will be extended to other Russian ethno-national republics. Specialists from the Laboratory on Issues of Artificial Intelligence under Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences and Kazan State University together with Microsoft's Moscow branch have prepared a Russified version of Windows 2000 supporting the Tatar language. There are plans to translate all Microsoft software into Tatar. An electronic Russian-Tatar dictionary has already been developed by Tatarstan's Institute for Issues of Computer Science and Institute of Language, Literature, and Arts. Tatarstan is also negotiating with IBM and Linux to translate into Tatar the Linux operating system and its office applications. Tatarstan's Deputy Communications Minister Ferit Fazyljanov said the Linux project will cost 3 million rubles ($107,100) while the Microsoft project will require 10 million-12 million rubles. Tatarstan's government will pay for the project.

Vneshtorgbank To Finance Construction Of Toll Road
Tatarstan's government has agreed with Vneshtorgbank (VTB) on financing the 5 billion-ruble construction of Tatarstan's first toll road, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 3 February. The project includes construction of a new 40-kilometer highway between the Shele and Sayesqan Tawy villages and the second line of the bridge over the Kama River near Sayesqan Tawy. The bridge is scheduled to be built by August while the entire project by 2007. Tatarstan's First Deputy Transport Minister Pavel Chernov told the daily that VTB will provide a 2.5 billion-ruble credit, while the remaining money is scheduled to be received in federal subsidies.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkir Parliament Drops References To Sovereignty From Legal Acts
The Bashkir State Assembly at its 27 January session passed an amendment to annul the Declaration on State Sovereignty, reported on 3 February. Specifically, the parliament annulled an October 1990 resolution on measures on the implementation of the Declaration on State Sovereignty. The provision saying it "has the power of a law" has been dropped from the text of the declaration itself.

Medicine Supply Under Social-Benefits Reform Insufficient
Bashkortostan has received 54 million rubles worth of medicine out of a planned 120 million rubles ($4.3 million) needed for people who have the benefit of free medicine, Bashkortostan�'s Health Care Minister Fenil Shefigullov told a press conference in Ufa, Bashinform and RosBalt reported the same day. The Biotek pharmaceutical company authorized by the Russian government to supply the republic with those medicines within the framework of social-benefits reform delivered only 78 percent of the expected items. In addition, the prices of some of them were higher than within the republic itself. As a result, of 56,800 prescriptions presented to drugstores, only 53,800 were supplied. In total, 346,000 residents are eligible to receive free medicine, for which more than 1.1 billion rubles were allocated from the federal budget.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova