19 April 2004
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANOpposition Holds Events To Promote Tatarstan's Sovereignty
Some 500 people gathered at a protest meeting held by the moderate nationalist Tatar Public Center (TIU) near the Galiesker Qamal Tatar drama theater in Kazan on 17 April, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. The meeting condemned the recent removal of the passage in the republican constitution granting Tatarstan's sovereignty, a move that was enforced by federal prosecutors through Tatarstan's Supreme Court (see "RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Report," 1 April 2004). In addition, the TIU leadership protested the course of housing reform in Russia and rising housing rents.
Also on 17 April, Kazan hosted the congress of the Milli Mejlis, the unofficial Tatar parliament, which involved 100 delegates from across Tatarstan, Moscow, Ufa, and Ulyanovsk. Fewzie Beyremova, who has been a main Milli Mejlis leader for the last decade, told the congress that the organization "will resume activities for reviving the full-fledged statehood of Tatarstan, as Russia's and Tatarstan's officials have so far failed to ensure the deserved rights to the Tatar people."
SPS Discusses Its Failure In The March Parliamentary Elections
A 17 April meeting of the local branch of the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) in Tatarstan discussed the party's failure to obtain any seats in the republican parliament in recent elections, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. SPS leaders complained that they had insufficient funding from the party while admitting that a lack of organization and haste during preparations caused campaign expenses to be 30-40 percent higher than planned. Only 50 of the 300 SPS members in Tatarstan were said to have undertaken practical activities that benefited the party.
At the same meeting Aleksandr Tarkaev, the head of the SPS election campaign headquarters, was elected the leader of Tatarstan's SPS branch.
Turkish Consul Praises Treatment Of Turks In Tatarstan, Russia
Ismail Hakki Musa, the Turkish consul in Kazan, told reporters on 16 April that he doesn't have to worry either about the rights given to or the behavior of Turkish citizens working in Russia and Tatarstan, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. The consul also said that his country is seeking to develop cooperation with Tatarstan by offering the services of its construction companies to rebuild the historical parts of Kazan for the city's millennium anniversary celebrations, such as the $2 million historical library in the Kazan Kremlin.
As for the current cooperation between Kazan and Istanbul, it remains strongly oil-dominated, as exports of Tatarstan's oil constitute some $600 million of the $700 million in annual trade.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTANUfa Plant To Sell $200 Million Worth Of Engines To India
India and the Ufa Motor Plant signed a contract on the delivery of 180 rocket engines, "Kommersant" reported on 16 April, citing AK&M. The contract is worth over $200 million and the deliveries will begin in 2005. India also plans to organize production of the engines under a Russian license. In 2003, the Ufa Motor Plant made a profit of $52 million and the plant's sales totaled $420 million.
Bashkortostan, Venezuela To Cooperate In Oil Sector
Venezuela's Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Russia Karlos Mendosa Potteli visited Bashkortostan on 15-16 April to discuss bilateral cooperation in the oil sector, RosBalt reported. In particular, representatives from Bashkortostan's oil industry and Potteli discussed construction technology for oil plants.
TsDUM Leaders Refuse To Meet With U.S. Diplomats
The Ufa-based Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate (TsDUM) has issued a statement saying a proposed meeting with high-ranking U.S. diplomats is impossible and demanded that all foreign military forces immediately leave Iraq, islam.ru reported on 16 April. "The past year provided evidence that accusations by the United States and England against Iraq are unfounded," the statement said. "The entire world has been shown proof of the illegal use of military aggression regarding this state." The TsDUM's External Relations Department commented that the statement came in reaction to an appeal by U.S. Deputy Ambassador to Russia John Baerli, U.S. Consul General to Yekaterinburg Scott Roland, and U.S. Department of State representative Omar Halidi to arrange a meeting with the board's leadership.
Deputy Minister In Fatal Road Accident
Bashkir Deputy Emergency Situations Minister Safa Nasyirov died in a road accident on 17 April, RIA-Novosti and other Russian agencies reported the next day. Nasyirov was driving his car in Kugerchen Raion. Three passengers in the car also died.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova