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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 26, 2005

26 September 2005
Tatarstan To Restart Kama Alani Nuclear Project
Tatarstan's government has approved an economic development plan the for next five years that stipulates the resumption of the Kama Alani nuclear power plant project, which was frozen in early 1990s due to environmental concerns, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 23 September. Rinat Abdullin, the chairman of the Tatar legislature's Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Land Affairs, introduced this part of the plan, citing growing prices of other energy resources.

Meanwhile, according to the Moscow correspondent of RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service, a recent roundtable of Tatar public organizations in Russia's capital discussed the consequences of the 1957 incident at the Mayak nuclear power plant in Chelyabinsk Oblast. Natives of Tatar-Bashkir villages in the area are said to have an 80 percent incidence of cancer and therefore are still eager to leave the area.

World Heritage Cities Organization Picks Kazan To Host Next Conference
The General Assembly of the Organization of World Heritage Cities held in Cuzco, Peru, agreed on 23 September that its next session will be held in Kazan in 2007, Intertat reported the next day. Some eight cities around the world vied for the right to host the event and the decision to choose Kazan was made based on the acknowledgment that Kazan is a positive example of different nationalities and religions living together peacefully, Intertat noted, citing unnamed organization officials.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkir Legislature Seeks Returning Control Over Major Taxpayers
Bashkortostan�s State Assembly passed on 22 September an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to return control over largest local taxpayers from federal bodies back to republic�s tax bodies, "Kommersant-Volga-Ural" reported on 23 September. Deputies argue that after the power had been passed to interregional inspections of the Federal Tax Service, republic�s state authority bodies and local self-government bodies face difficulties collecting data necessary for composing and fulfilling republican and local budgets. Deputies reported that it took nine months current year to complete interbudget regulation involving 1 billion rubles ($35 million) paid by Bashneft. The situation created troubles for budgets of all level.

Bashkir Government Annuls Petrochemical Holdings
Shareholders of state-run Bashkir Fuel Company (BTK) and Bashkir Petrochemical Company (BNKhK) have decided to abolish the companies, "Kommersant-Volga-Ural" reported on 24 September. The Bashkir government commented that "both companies have become obsolete and they don�t have any assets, this is why the decision on self-elimination has been passed." 17 October will be the last day of the companies� operation.

BNKhK was established in 1994 by incorporation of four Ufa oil refineries in which BNKhK owned between 56 and 85 percent. BTK, which was established in 1998, united state-run stakes of Bashneft (63.7 percent), Bashkirenergo (36.7 percent), BNKhK, and Bashkir branches of Transneft and Transnefteproduct. In 2003, BTK sold its stakes in Bashneft, Bashkirenergo, Bashkirnefteprodukt and BNKhK�s stakes in Ufa oil refineries to Bashkirskii Kapital (BK) controlled by son of President Murtaza Rakhimov Ural for 13.5 billion rubles on the ten-year installment plan. Earlier this year, Bashkortostan�s authorities filed a legal procedure to return to BTK state-run stakes from BK and in mid-May, the Bashkir Arbitration Court annulled sales of shares of Bashneft and Bashkirenergo to BK. But the dispute was settled out of court in June when Ural Rakhimov agreed to pay for the companies additional 13 billion rubles to the republican budget (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 9, 10, 13 and 21 June 2005).

After abolishment of BTK and BNKhK, BK will transfer money to the account of Bashkortostan�s Property Ministry. According to the Bashkir government, BK has paid so fat 4.5 billion rubles of the initial price of 13.5 billion rubles under the 2003 deal.

Bashkortostan, Yamal-Nenets Okrug Sign Cooperation Agreement
Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Development and Industry Minister Nikolai Puchnin met with Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Deputy Governor Fuat Saifitdinov on 22 September in Salekhard to discuss cooperation in oil processing, machine building and agricultural sectors, Interfax-Ural and Uralinformbyuro reported the same day. Deliveries of Bashkortostan-produced helicopters Kamov to Yamal were on the agenda. Puchnin suggested joint developing a program on relocation of Yamal residents to Bashkortostan. The issue on establishment of branches of Bashkortostan�s higher educational institutions in YaNAO was discussed. The sides agreed on opening Bashkortostan�s trade house in YaNAO in 2006 and signed the bilateral agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation for 2005-2007.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova