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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 12, 2005

12 August 2005
Hermitage To Open An Affiliate Gallery In Kazan
More than 700 pictures from St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum were sent to Kazan on 9 August to open an affiliate of the Hermitage in that city by 24 August, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the next day. This year's celebrations of the Kazan millennium anniversary will coincide with the day of St. Petersburg in the Tatar capital. The newly opened Hermitage representation in Kazan will be the famous gallery's first regional affiliate and will be dedicated to the history of the Golden Horde.

Tatar Companies Win Most Of The Federal Programs For Small Businesses
The federal budget will contribute 25 percent to the 800 million ruble ($28.5 million) venture fund set up to support innovative projects by businesspeople from Tatarstan, said Andrei Sharov, the director of the state regulation department in the federal Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Another quarter of the fund's assets will be contributed by Tatarstan's government while 50 percent is said to have been contributed by private investors. Sharov confirmed that Tatarstan won most of the nominations in the federal tender giving financial support to innovative businesses, in which 42 projects from across Russia competed for the money. Sharov also noted that Tatarstan set the nationwide record in 2005 by obtaining the most federal support to for its export companies. Tatarstan's small businesses have reportedly received more than $1 million in compensation for export-related expenses.

Head Of Old Believers Church Dies
Andrian, the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Old Believers Church, died on 11 August and will be buried on 14 August in the Pokrov Cathedral in Moscow, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 11 August. Before becoming the overall head of the church in Russia, Adrian had served as the head of the Old Believers Church in Kazan and his time in office was characterized by the start of a dialogue between the Old Believers and the Russian Orthodox Church. Prior to that the two churches did not maintain a relationship due to the history of the Old Believers being persecuted in Russia since the time of Peter the Great. According to some Russian media, Andrian's death may lead to greater self-isolation of the Old Believers, which has traditionally been a closed community.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan Bans Poultry Imports From Regions Infected With Bird Flu
Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister Shamil Wakhitov told the government's epidemic commission on 11 August that it will ban imports of poultry from regions where bird flu has been registered, Interfax-Povolzhe and RosBalt reported the same day. Wakhitov added that "cases of avian flu have been registered in Kazakhstan, which is separated from [Bashkortostan] only by Orenburg Oblast." Wakhitov added that the disease has not been found in Bashkortostan. He said 4.5 million rubles are required to purchase preventive equipment. The official added that veterinary supervision services are monitoring poultry imported to Bashkortostan and transited through the republic. A representative of Bashkortostan's Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Department told Interfax-Povolzhe that poultry from Orenburg and Chelyabinsk Oblasts is currently imported to the republic. A closed regime was introduced in Bashkortostan's poultry factories as of 5 August. There are over 20 million birds in Bashkortostan, of which over 5 million are raised in nine large poultry factories.

U.S. Purchases Bashkir Honey
The director of the Scientific Research Institute on Beekeeping and Apitherapy, Emir Ishemgulov, told RosBalt on 11 August that Bashkortostan will deliver a test consignment of 20.5 tons of honey to the United States in late August. Ishemgulov said this is the first delivery of honey to North America although the institute has taken part in several exhibits in the U.S. where Bashkir honey received good reviews. The GM Natural Products Inc. is the American provider of the contract.

Tatar Civic Group Against Mandatory Teaching Of Bashkir In Secondary Schools
Bashkortostan's Tatar Public Center (TIU) stated its opposition to plans to introduce the mandatory teaching of Bashkir in all of the republic's secondary schools, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 10 August. The issue was on the agenda of a TIU board meeting on 9 August. Tatar organization activists spoke against amendments to the republican education law being discussed by the republic parliament under which Tatar schoolchildren will be obliged to study Bashkir.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova