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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 21, 2004

21 April 2004
Weekly Questions Efficiency Of Monetary Rewards In Struggle Against Bribery
The "Izvestiya Tatarstana" weekly on 21 April questioned the efficiency of Tatar Interior Ministry efforts against bribery, such as rewarding police officers with sums equal to bribes they reject and report to the anticorruption department. The weekly claimed that this practice violated the principle of equality of all citizens, because it established the precedent of rewarding police for an uncommitted crime, something that has to be offered to all citizens and not only to those wearing the police uniform.

"Anyway," the weekly added, "in practice it's up to the police officer to decide on whether to take the bribe or report it to the superiors and ask for the equal reward."

Tatneft, Zorlu Make Arrangements For Paying For Tupras Shares
According to an unnamed Tatneft oil company employee cited by Interfax on 20 April, the company's German affiliate Efremov Kautschuk and the Turksih Zorlu Holding agreed to each contribute $376 million and take a $550 million loan to pay $1.3 billion for the 65.76 percent stake in the Turkish Tupras petrochemical company.

Tatarstan To Cooperate With Russia's Academy Of Sciences
Tatarstan's government and the Russian Academy of Sciences signed an agreement on bilateral cooperation in chemistry, petrochemical research, and ecology in Moscow on 20 April, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the next day. The agreement is to promote joint efforts for technological research in consumer-goods production, pollution prevention, and energy-saving techniques in industry. The document was signed by Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and the president of the Academy of Sciences, Yurii Osipov.

Tatarstan To Celebrate Native Language Day
This year Tatarstan will officially celebrate Native Language Day on 26 April, the birthday of famous Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Traditionally, that was day that the winners of the annual Gabdulla Tukay prize, the highest state prize for those working in the arts, was announced.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Tax Collection Falls In Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan's tax bodies collected 7.3 billion rubles ($254 million) for the federal budget in the first three months of the year, RosBalt reported on 20 April, citing the Russian Tax Ministry's Bashkir Board. The amount is 30 percent down from the 2003 rate. In total, the republican budget revenues reduced by 11 percent to 14.8 billion rubles compared to the previous year. There was a 32 percent growth, however, in the amount of income tax collected. Bashkortostan is third on the list of Volga Federal District regions in terms of collecting taxes in the first quarter of 2004.

Opposition Newspaper Renews Printing
Bashkortostan's opposition newspaper "Meidan" has renewed printing, an RFE/RL correspondent in Ufa reported on 18 April. The Russian-language newspaper stopped printing after the December 2003 presidential elections. The newspaper, launched by former ideologist of the Bashkir Youth Union Airat Dilmokhemmetov, expressed views in opposition to President Murtaza Rakhimov. The newspaper is being printed in the Orenburg Oblast.

Skyguide Head Reports Progress In Crash Compensation Negotiations
Alan Rossier, the head of the Swiss air traffic control service Skyguide, told "Argumenty i fakty" on 21 April that 12 families of victims of the July 2002 midair collision over southern Germany had agreed on compensation sums. The crash claimed 71 lives, including 52 children, mostly from Bashkortostan (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 2 July 2002). Rossier said the amounts of the compensation payments are confidential as required by the victims' relatives. Rossier said that his service is interested in the speedy resolution of the case. He denied reports that families of the two pilots of the DHL jet involved in the collision have received $1.5 million in compensation each.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova