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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 14, 2005

14 April 2005
Speaker Calls For Unified Russia Party To Be More Democratic
Tatar State Council Speaker Farid Mukhametshin said Unified Russia should rearrange its inner-party life to make it more democratic, Interfax reported on 13 April. Mukhametshin, who is the leader of the Unified Russia�s Tatarstan�s branch, asked, "What kind of party is this if it cannot resolve a problem around a round-table but only recklessly votes for all the draft laws proposed by the government?" Mukhametshin said Tatarstan�s regional branch of Unified Russia will propose at its next congress several amendments to the party charter. At a congress in Kazan on 12 April of the political council of the regional public movement Tatarstan � New Century, Mukhametshin said participating in the forthcoming municipal elections is a priority for the movement, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported the same day. Commenting on the issue of substituting money payments for some social benefits, Mukhametshin said the corresponding federal law was passed without due preparation and without clear understanding of how it is to be implemented.

Authorities Try To Rid Kazan Of Weapons By City's Millennium...
The deputy head of the Tatar Interior Ministry�s Public Safety Department appealed on 13 April to gun owners in Kazan to turn over their weapons to security forces for temporary during the celebration of the city's millennium, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported the same day. Residents within 500-meters of festivity sites or the routes for VIP-visitors were asked to deliver their arms to security forces by 1 August. The measure was included in a Tatar government resolution aimed at assuring safety during the Kazan jubilee celebrations. Sokolov said there are some 75,000 authorized weapons in Tatarstan.

...And To Empty City Of Students During Millennium
Meeting with rectors of Kazan higher educational institutions on 12 April, Tatarstan�s acting Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov called for postponing the beginning of their next academic year from 1 September to 10 September. He said that was "to relieve" Kazan of students during celebrations of the Kazan millennium, "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 13 April. The government seeks to free beds in students� hostels for Interior Department employees who are due to arrive in Kazan for the event. Every institution has already been issued an order prescribing it to prepare a specified number of beds for visitors by 1 August at the latest. Kazan State Technical University students told the daily that they must leave their hostels by 5 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Opposition Summoned To FSB
Bashkortostan�s Tatar civic groups union head Ramil Bignov told a press conference in Moscow on 13 April that activists of Bashkortostan�s opposition were called in for interrogation by the Federal Security Service�s (FSB) Bashkortostan�s Directorate on 13 and 14 April, RosBalt reported on 13 April. Earlier the republic�s Prosecutor Aleksandr Konovalov had filed a criminal case against leaders of the opposition based on allegations they made public calls for extremist actions during the 26 March protest meeting in Ufa. Konovalov said that "extremist statements" are calls for political change through violence.

Prosecutor�s Office Announces Completion Of Blagoveshchensk Case
The press service of the Volga Federal District Board of the Russian Prosecutor-General�s Office said on 13 April that it has completed its investigation into allegations that Interior Department employees exceeded their powers by in carrying out a raid in December in Blagoveshchensk, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported. The cases are to be referred to a court after victims and the accused have been acquainted with them. Over 300 residents were recognized victims of the December operation involving an interior special troops� detachment.

EBRD Allocates $32.5 Million In Credit To Construct Glass-Container Plant In Ufa
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on 12 April its plan to organize a credit of $32.5 million for the Turkish Anadolu Cam Sanayii A.S. to construct a glass-container plant in Ufa, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 13 April. Total investments of the Turkish company into the plant, which is due to become the biggest in Russia, will be $65 million. A protocol of intentions between the Bashkir government and Sisecam�s branch Anadolu Cam Sanayii A.S., a division of Turkey's leading glass concern, Sisecam, on construction of the plant was signed in summer 2004.

German Company To Modernize Salavatsteklo
The Salavatsteklo press service said on 12 April that the company has signed an agreement with the German Hom Glasanlagen GmbH on modernization of the Bashkir company, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 13 April. According to the 27.2 million euros' contract, a German-produced assembly line for manufacturing sheet glass will be installed at Salavatsteklo by the end of the year.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova