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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 5, 2005

5 October 2005
Bashkir Minister Says Federalism Powered By Conflict Between Center And Regions
In an interview on the coming anniversary of Bashkortostan's declaration of independence, Minister of Culture and Ethnic Policies Ildus Ilishev said on 4 October that the "gist of effective federalism is the permanent conflict between the [federal] center and the regions," an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. On 11 October Bashkortostan will mark the 15th anniversary of its declaration of independence, and Ilishev said that that document laid the basis of the current welfare of its people. Ilishev emphasized that prior to the adoption of that document, Bashkortostan was one of the major industrial centers but was characterized by low social-infrastructure development. Ilishev praised the centralization of power and reinforcement of federal authority, which he ascribed to the rule of President Vladimir Putin.

Ufa Boasts Soaring Foreign Trade Figures
Ufa's foreign trade volume has reached $1.5 billion so far this year, Ufa Mayor Pavel Kachkaev told reporters on 4 October, according to a local RFE/RL correspondent. He said exports make up 80 percent of this volume. Ufa currently maintains trade ties with 41 countries, as well as 10 CIS countries. The high volume is reportedly due to Ufa being home to the majority of the republic's petrochemical industries, which contribute the majority of exports.

Sistema Increases Its Stake In Bashkir Petrochemical Sector
The Sistema group increased its stake in five major Bashkir petrochemical ventures -- Novoil, the Ufa oil-refining plant, Ufaneftekhim, the Bashneft oil company, the Bashneft petrochemical company, and the Ufaorgsintez chemical plant -- by purchasing $96.4 million in shares, AK&M reported on 4 October. Sistema reportedly had to cancel a previous deal on the purchase of a 10.08 percent stake in Bashkirenergo. Sistema has already invested a total of $599.7 million in Bashkir oil and petrochemical industries, while the total shares purchased as reported by Russia's RTS stock-trading system reportedly exceeds $1.2 billion.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi