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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 20, 2005

20 September 2005
Government Passes Resolution On Oil Refinery
The Tatar Cabinet of Ministers has passed a resolution on the construction of a $3 billion complex for oil refining and additional petrochemical plants in Tuben Kama, Tatar-inform and "Kommersant-Volga-Ural" reported on 19 and 20 September, respectively. The last stage of the facility is due to be finished in 2010. The Zenit bank, Tatneft, Svyazinvestneftkhim, and the Tuben Kama oil refinery are responsible for managing the project's finance. Deputy Prime Minister and Transport and Road Construction Minister Vladimir Shvetsov has been appointed head of the construction headquarters. A decision on the construction of the oil refinery was passed by Tatarstan's Security Council on 9 June.

Four To Compete In Tatar Parliamentary By-Election
By-elections to the State Council will be held on 16 October in the Chistai electoral district, Tatar-inform reported on 19 September. Tatarstan's Central Election Commission Chairman Anatolii Fomin told a press conference on 19 September that four candidates have been registered in the district, including head of the Union of Rightist Forces in Tatarstan Aleksandr Tarkaev, unemployed local Yurii Petrov, teacher Ildar Mersiyapov, and head of the Medical and Social Examination Bureau Khemit Ismegylev.

Kulikovo Battle Celebrations Spark Controversy
Celebrations marking the 625th anniversary of the Battle of Kulikovo were held in Tula Oblast on 17-18 September, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 19 September. Tatar civic groups have criticized the celebrations of the battle in which Russians defeated Tatars. The groups have argued that holding the celebrations could create interethnic tension in the republic. In a recent survey carried out by the Public Opinion Fund (FOM), 47 percent of people questioned didn't think the jubilee should be celebrated. During a 19 September phone-in devoted to the Kulikovo battle, 74 percent of listeners considered it dangerous to mark such events in a multiethnic country.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Communists Fail To Hold Informal Referendum In Bashkortostan
Despite previous announcements on holding an unofficial public referendum in Russia on 16 September, in many cities the Communists failed to effectively organize the plebiscite, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 19 September. Bashkortostan was among the regions where the daily's reporters failed to find any polling activists, though the republic's Communist Party claimed that its activists conducted the referendum in all major public places.

Blagoveshchensk Victims Sue Police
Ufa's Kirov District Court will consider on 3 October a complaint by victims of the December 2004 Blagoveshchensk police raid against the republic's Interior Ministry, which refused to hold an investigation into misconduct of responsible police offers, the Bashkortostan edition of "Moskovskii komsomolets" reported on 19 September.

August Brings Only Slight Drop In Wage Arrears
Workers in Bashkortostan are currently owed a total of 198.4 million rubles ($7.1 million) in wage arrears, Regnum reported on 19 September. This is only a 1.8 percent decrease from July 2005. Traditionally, most wage arrears are in the construction, agriculture, and heavy industry sectors of the republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi