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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 14, 2005

14 September 2005
Kazan Millennium Envied By Other Regions
Among the governors invited to Kazan's millennium celebrations, some were irritated by the luxuriousness of the festivities and the amount of funds invested in improving the city's infrastructure, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 13 September. In a recent interview with, Kurgan Oblast Governor Oleg Bogomolov claimed that, according to his information, $3 billion was spent preparing for the anniversary, which is eight times his region's annual budget. Bogomolov said that this showed Moscow's unequal distribution of revenues between the regions.

Officials of the committee organizing the millennium celebrations declined to tell RFE/RL in interviews the same day how much was spent on celebrating the anniversary.

Tatneft To Maintain Operations In Iran
The Tatneft oil company issued a public statement on 13 September denying recent media reports that its joint venture with Iran's Oppressed and Disabled Foundation (Bonyad-i Mostazafan va Janbazan) is being closed due to the current political developments in Iran, Russian and Tatar media reported.

The joint venture runs a number of projects to prospect for oil in Iran and to service oil-extraction facilities. According to the company statement, Tatneft Iran Oil Company is currently prospecting the high-density Zagdeh oil deposit in southern Iran.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Participants In Blagoveshchensk Raid Go To Trial
The trial of interior employees who took part and supervised the 10-14 December raids in Blagoveshchensk (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 29 and 30 December 2004 and 3, 6, 7, 10-14, and 17-21 January 2005) was scheduled to start on 14 September in a Blagoveshchensk court, RosBalt reported on 9 September. Eight employees, including Blagoveshchensk City Interior directorate head Ildar Ramazanov and Interior Special Troops Detachment head Oleg Sokolov are accused of abuses. A criminal case against two other participants accused of forgery and abuse of power is being heard separately.

Constitutional Court Refuses To Hear Appeal Provoked By Meeting Ban
The Bashkir Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal by Bashkortostan resident Mikhail Kodyakov alleging a violation of his constitutional rights by a Ufa City Council decree in 1997 under which permission from the head of a local administration is necessary to allow public gatherings or demonstrations in the city, "Moskovskii komsomolets v Ufe" reported on 13 September. Kodyakov's appeal came in response to the Ufa Kirov Raion administration's refusal last year to permit a gathering on the decree in question. The Constitutional Court ruled that the decree was annulled by a June 2004 federal law that established new guidelines for public activities.

BAL Joins Airline Alliance
Bashkir Airlines (BAL) has signed an agreement to join the Russian aviation alliance AiRUnion, Regnum reported on 9 September. The agreement provides for cooperation between BAL and AiRUnion members on the basis of parity and mutual advantageous relations but maintaining legal independence. A code-sharing of AiRUnion fleets should allow for new flights and connections for Bashkortostan passengers. AiRUnion unites Krasnoyarsk Airlines (KrasAir), Domodedovskie avialinii, Samara, Omskavia, and Sibaviatrans.

Bashkir Films Among Those Awarded At Muslim Film Festival
Two films by film directors from Bashkortostan won top honors at the first international Muslim film festival, Altyn Monber, which concluded on 10 September in Kazan, "Moskovskii komsomolets v Ufe" reported on 11 September. A film by Aisyuaq Yumagulov, "It Is Permitted In The Night," won a prize among film shorts. A film by Yelena Yushkova, "A Lion and A Rabbit," won among animated films.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova