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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 18, 2004

18 June 2004
UNESCO Kazan Conference Discusses Ways Of Preserving Cultural Diversity In Eurasia.
A two-day United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) conference opened in Kazan on 17 June, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Representatives of more than 500 UNESCO World Heritage cites from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, are participating in the conference. They will discuss strategies and programs for preserving the Eurasian cultural heritage. In his opening speech, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev stressed the importance of the conference, which is part of Kazan's millennium celebrations, and passed on greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shaimiev said that in this era of globalization, the world needs a mechanism that can preserve and develop ethnic cultures.

Tatar Prime Minister Heads To Bashkortostan.
A Tatar governmental delegation headed by Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov left for Bashkortostan on 18 June to take part in celebrations honoring the 250th anniversary of the birth of Bashkir national hero Salawat Yulaev, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. The delegation will take part in the festivities and join an official reception held by the Bashkir government. Yulaev headed a detachment of Bashkir rebels during the peasants' war of 1773-75. He was captured by tsarist authorities in November 1774 and exiled to the modern-day Estonian city of Paldiski (then Regervik), where he died in 1800.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Wages Arrears Grow By One-Third In Bashkortostan
Bashkir Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov said on 17 June that over 103,000 workers are owed back wages in Bashkortostan, RosBalt reported the same day. Debts have increased so far this year by 31.5 percent or 108 million rubles to 449.5 million rubles ($15.5 million). Baidavletov said it is impossible to resolve the issue of wage arrears without improving companies' financial status as well as structural reconstruction and reform of the economy. He added that 30 to 40 percent of the republic's enterprises are loss making.

Iraqi Students To Study At Ufa University
LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov said on 17 June that 40 Iraqi students will be admitted to the Moscow Gubkin University of Oil and Gas and the Ufa State Oil Technical University within as part of a March agreement between LUKoil and the Iraqi Oil Ministry, reported. Alekperov added that the number of Iraqi students admitted every year to the universities will increase to 100 as of 2005. In late 2003, the company resumed working on the West Kurna-2 oil deposit in Iraq.

Estonian Delegation Join Salawat Yulaev's Jubilee Celebration
An official delegation from Paldiski, Estonia, headed by city assembly head Jan Melder will take part in celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Bashkir national hero Salawat Yulaev on 18 June, RosBalt reported on 17 June, citing the Bashkir presidential press service. Yulaev, the head of a detachment of Bashkir rebels during the peasants' war of 1773-75 led by Yemelyan Pugachev, was caught by tsarist authorities in November 1774 and exiled to then-Rogervik, now Paldiski, where he died in 1800 after 25 years of penal servitude. Officials from the embassies of Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, India, and representatives from other Russia regions will also attend the event.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova