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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 1, 2005

1 June 2005
Tatar Organizations Protest Moscow's Interference With Tatar Language
A group of some 20 leaders of Tatar civic groups and scientific institutions -- including the Tatar World Congress, the Latin Front, the Tatarstan's Writers Union, the Tatar Public Center, the Institute of History of Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Language, Literature, and Arts of Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences -- appealed on 31 May to the Tatar people to oppose Moscow's attempts to deprive them of the right to decide issues related to the Tatar language on their own, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. The appeal was initiated after talks between Moscow and Kazan on the new bilateral power-sharing treaty were halted. The two sides reportedly could not compromise on the Tatar-language issue. Chairman of the Tatar State Council Committee on Science, Education, Culture, and Nationalities Issues Razil Weliev, who took part in the talks, told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service that the harmonization commission has failed to find a common decision on three articles of the treaty, two of which are linked to the Tatar-language issue. "Tatarstan demands that the Tatar-language status be determined only on the basis of Tatarstan's legislation, while Russia disagrees. If consensus isn't found on the issue, the presidents of Russia and Tatarstan should resolve it," Weliev said. In an interview with RFE/RL's Kazan bureau, Language, Literature, and Arts Institute Director Nurmokhemmet Khisamov expressed his concern about Moscow's efforts to decide the fate of the Tatar language, adding that, "Russia won't help develop the Tatar language."

Opposition Protests Corruption In Tatarstan
The anticorruption commission Antikorr staged a meeting in Kazan to protest flourishing corruption in the republic, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 31 May. Antikorr was a member of the Public Chamber formed by Tatarstan's opposition civic and political movements and the regional branches of federal parties. Participants claimed that the policies of President Mintimer Shaimiev will result in the collapse of the economy. After the meeting finished, its eight participants met with Tatar First Deputy Prime Minister Rawil Moratov, who heads the republic's commission on developing a strategy to fight corruption. Muratov suggested that one representative from the Public Chamber be included in the commission on fighting corruption, which is being set up by President Shaimiev.

Tatarstan's Credit Ratings Up
The international rating agency Standard & Poor's raised on 31 May Tatarstan's credit rating on foreign currency obligations from B- to B, with a "stable" forecast, Finmarket reported the same day. "The decision was determined by Tatarstan's high rates of economic development and its leadership being ready to maintain good financial indicators and a low rate of the direct debt," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Yelena Yershova commented on the move. Meanwhile, the Fitch international rating agency gave Tatarstan a long-term rating in foreign and local currency BB and a short-term rating B, PRAIM-TASS reported on 30 May. Fitch also gave the republic a long-term rating on the national scale AA(rus). Forecasts on all ratings are stable.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

EBRD Issues Credit To Construct Glass Container Plant In Ufa
A credit agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Ruscan-Ufa, which is affiliated with Turkish Sisecam's subsidiary Anadolu Cam Sanayii A.S., was signed in Ufa on 31 May, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 1 June. Under the agreement, the EBRD allocated $32.5 million in syndicated credit for the construction of a glass container plant in Ufa. Turkey's investments in the project are expected to total $120 million. Of the credit, $22.75 million will be provided by the EBRD while $9.75 million will be syndicated in ABN Amro Bank N.V. and Calyon Bank Turk A.S. The credit spans a seven-year period and repayment on it will begin in two years. Vice President of the Sisecam Glass Container and Metal Department Teoman Yenigyun said at the signing ceremony that the project is "the biggest in Europe in the gall container sector," adding some 450 workplaces will be created at the plant in the first stage.

IKEA To Invest $100 Million In Construction Of Hypermarket In Ufa
The Swedish IKEA corporation plans to begin construction of a trade and entertainment center in Ufa in April 2006, Ufa Deputy Mayor Albina Yusupova told a press conference on 31 May, RosBalt reported the same day. IKEA has already invested $5 million in the project. The total cost of the construction is expected to total $100 million. A furniture supermarket, a grocery hypermarket, and an entertainment complex will be located on the 30-hectares site in the Ufa suburbs. The facility will provide the Bashkir capital with 500 new jobs.

Number Of Legal Millionaires Grows Tenfold
The number of legal millionaires in Bashkortostan has increased tenfold in Bashkortostan over the past year, RosBalt reported on 31 May, citing the republic's board of the Federal Tax Service. According to tax declarations, 1,125 Bashkir residents earned in 2004 between 1 million rubles ($35,241) and 10 million rubles, while in 2003, that figure was 117. The number of people with the income between 10 million rubles and 100 million rubles also grew more than tenfold from 8 to 109. There are 11 people with an income of over 100 million rubles.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova