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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 10, 2005

10 March 2005
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Gazprom Confirms Intention To Take Over Polyef
At the launch of a new production line at Salavatnefteorgsintez petrochemical plant, President Murtaza Rakhimov and Gazprom Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Ryazanov said Gazprom intends to take over Polyef when it is put up for privatization on 18 April, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 9 March. Bashkortostan-owned Polyef is currently being managed by Gazprom. The Federal Property Fund will reportedly require an initial bid of $168.5 million for the plant, which is considered one of the most modern chemical factories in Russia.

Activists Beaten In Ufa Capital
Robert Zagreev, editor in chief of the "Za mestnoe samoupravlenie" (For Local Self-Government) weekly and leader of the movement of the same name, was beaten in front of his own residence on 5 March, Bashnews reported the same day. Zagreev reportedly received serious head injures from unidentified attackers who allegedly demanded he drop his lawsuit against Bashkortostan's Central Election Commission in the Bashkir Supreme Court.

On 3 March, Zagreev filed a suit challenging the legality of the election commission's resolution introducing the procedure of electing Ufa's mayor from the members of the city council. His organization promotes open mayoral elections, demanding that candidates from outside the city council be eligible.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi