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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 11, 2004

11 May 2004
Tatar President Expresses Condolences For Death Of Pro-Moscow Chechen Leader
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 9 May sent his condolences over the death of pro-Moscow Chechen President Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov, who was killed by a blast while attending Victory Day ceremonies the same day in Grozny, reported on 9 May, citing the presidential press service. Addressing newly appointed acting Chechen President Sergei Abramov, Shaimiev wrote: "Together with the people of the Chechen Republic and the entire Russian Federation [we] deeply mourn and express confidence that those guilty for the tragedy will be severely punished, while the Chechen people will cope with the challenge posed by international terrorism."

Former Prisoners Of Nazi Concentration Camps Receive Compensation From German Fund
Sixteen former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps living in Chally received financial compensation from Germany and Austria on the eve of Victory Day, reported on 10 May, citing "Chelninskie izvestiya." The total sum received was 6,796 euros, with individual payments depending on the amount of time spent in the camps. The money is paid by the Fund for Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation.

Tatar, Finnish Officials Discuss Trade, Economic Relations
A Tatar-Finnish working group on the development of trade, economic, and scientific cooperation between Tatarstan and Finland is meeting from 10-14 May in Helsinki, reported on 10 May, citing the Tatar Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Ministry�s press service. The Tatar delegation is headed by Deputy Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Ilgiz Dautov. The agenda includes mutual cooperation in the machine-building sector, exchanging experience in business development, and setting up joint ventures involving Finnish small and medium-size businesses.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Tours The Countryside
President Murtaza Rakhimov toured the rural Kushnaren, Khaibulla, Sharan, Buzdyak regions of Bashkortostan on 10 May, inspecting the progress of this year's sawing season, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. During his trip Rakhimov discussed the day-to-day difficulties encountered by World War II veterans and pensioners, who are reportedly discontent about the federal government's plans to change the system of housing benefits. According to an unnamed source in the Bashkir presidential staff, Rakhimov "is fond of" such trips as he can "feel his power" over the regional administration heads and meet the local population. It has also become a tradition in the last 10 years of Rakhimov's presidency that during such visits local bureaucrats organize special events for their president. According to the republic's laws, the president has the authority to appoint and dismiss the regional and municipal administration heads.

Main Ufa Street Not To Bear National Hero's Name
The Bashkir government has decided not to change the name of Ufa's main street, which is named after the October 1917 Bolshevik revolution, Bashkir news agencies reported. There were plans to name the street after Bashkortostan's national hero, Salavat Yulaev. This year Bashkortostan is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Yulaev, who led a peasants' revolt against the Russian empire in the 17th century. A small street in the Bashkir capital, currently named after a Bolshevik diplomat, will now be named after Yulaev.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi