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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 21, 2005

21 March 2005
Tatar Parliament To Consider President's Candidacy
The Tatar State Council on 25 March will consider Russian President Vladimir Putin's 16 March nomination of President Mintimer Shaimiev to a fourth term as the republic's president, Interfax reported on 19 March. The parliament's presidium set the date during its 19 March session.

CIS Summit To Gather In Kazan
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on 18 March that a summit of heads of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be held in Kazan in August, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reported. Following a meeting of the CIS' Council of Foreign Ministers in Minsk, Lavrov said the meeting approved proposals on major directions of reforming the CIS that will be discussed in Kazan.

Tatneft Purchases Deposits In Samara Oblast
Tatneft affiliate Tatneft-Samara on 18 March won a tender in Samara for the Aksenovskii and Vozdvizhenskii oilfields, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 19 March. Tatneft-Samara paid 1.026 billion rubles ($37.1 million) and 2.49 billion rubles, respectively, for them, while the starting prices were 90 million rubles and 150 million rubles. Samara-Nafta shareholder Semen Kukes was Tatneft major rival in the tender. Estimated stocks of oil on the plots are 1.6 million tons and 2.864 million tons, respectively, while experts say real stocks are much bigger. An unidentified Tatneft source told the daily that the company paid slightly more than it planned for the deposits.

KamAZ Refuses Small Car Production
KamAZ has passed a 74.25 percent share of the Minicar Plant (ZMA), which produces Oka cars, to the balance of its affiliate, KamAZ-Finans, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" and Tatarinform reported on 18 and 19 March, respectively. News agencies cited rumors that KamAZ-Finans will likely sell the stake to Severstal-Avto, which is looking for a facility to assemble the off-road Rexton vehicle under a license from Korea's SsangYong. ZMA was established in 1996, and 74.4 percent belonged to KamAZ and 25.6 percent was owned by the Tatar Property Ministry. The plant's capitalization is estimated at 750 million rubles ($25 million).

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Dismisses Minister Of Culture And Ethnic Policies
Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov dismissed Bashkortostan's Deputy Prime Minister and Culture and Ethnic Policies Minister Khalyaf Ishmoratov, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported 18 March. Also on 18 March, the director of the Bashkorotstan's Institute of Law, Ildus Ilishev, also announced that Ishmoratov would be replaced. Ishmoratov was sacked because, according to the official statement, he "failed to comply with his professional duties." Ishmoratov had served in the post for 10 years.

For many years since Bashkortostan obtained its new status within the Russian Federation, Ishmoratov was responsible for shaping republican policies in nationality affairs, which is given a high priority by President Rakhimov.

Ethnic Tatar In State Duma To Promote Ethnic Tatar's Rights In Bashkortostan
The Bashkir State Pedagogical University Rector and chief executive of Bashkortostan's Tatar Congress, Eduard Khemitov -- who recently succeeded the late Kirill Ragozin in as a Russian State Duma deputy -- told an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent on 18 March that he would use his new office to speak about the problems ethnic Tatars have in Bashkortostan (see "RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Report," 16 March 2005). Meanwhile, activists of a moderate nationalist Tatar movement in Bashkortostan reportedly consider Khemitov to be pro-government, something that will be important at the upcoming election of a new chief executive for the organization.

Rakhimov's Son Reshuffles Top Management Of Bashneft's Territorial Offices
According to the Volga-Urals edition of "Kommersant" on 19 March, the Bashneft oil company is rebuilding its own "vertical of power" by canceling the official status of its oil and gas extraction offices (NGDU) in the regions of the republic and requesting that all of them be registered as its branches. The daily also reported that Bashneft's general director, Gimran Gabitov, replaced all of the NGDU heads at the request of Ural Rakhimov, the son of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov. Bashneft is the largest oil industry in the republic and is controlled by the Rakhimovs.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi