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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 10, 2004

10 August 2004
Aerospace Manufacturers Tout Wares In Kazan
The second international exhibition and applied-science conference on Aerospace Technology and Equipment opened in Kazan on 10 August, RIA-Novosti reported the same day, citing the city's press service. More than 150 companies from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States were expected take part in the event. Prospects for aerospace development and aircraft-leasing and training issues were on the agenda. Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov will also deliver a report on the state and prospects of Tatarstan's aerospace industry at the conference. The Kazan administration, the Federal Agency for Industry, and the republican cabinet are among the forum's organizers.

Tatar Delegation To Visit Sudan
A delegation from Tatarstan was expected to depart on 10 August for a two-day visit to Sudan, reported. Tatar Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Khefiz Salikhov and KamAZ General Director Sergei Kogogin are expected to negotiate trade and economic-cooperation deals between Tatarstan and Sudan and make a presentation on Tatarstan's economic potential. The delegation is expected to meet with the leadership of Sudan's Defense, Economy, Environment and Urban Planning, and Interior ministries.

The official Tatar visit comes as Sudanese officials are under increasing international pressure to stop the campaign of violence and terror that has killed tens of thousands and displaced or otherwise put at risk millions of mostly black Sudanese in the Darfur region of the country. The government in Khartoum has been accused of arming the Arab militias, or Janjawid, that have carried out much of the killing, looting, and destruction.

Great Volga Route Conference Concludes
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent regards to organizers and participants in the Great Volga Route conference, saying that "in the past several centuries, this water route has significantly influenced the development of Russia's domestic and foreign economic relations." The Putin statement added, "The Great Volga Route has not only secured transport communication but has also provided unique conditions for cultural dialogue between states and peoples." Putin expressed confidence that the forum can contribute to a revival of the Great Volga Route that will boost develop regional and international cooperation. The conference began on 4 August in St. Petersburg and concluded on 9 August in Nizhnii Novgorod.

Members Of Chistai Crime Group Convicted
A Tatar court has convicted members of a crime group known as "Tatarinskie" that operated in the Tatarstan town of Chistai of kidnapping, extortion, and the illegal purchase and possession of arms, among other charges, reported on 6 August. Defendant Ildar Lotfillin was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison, Marat Kamalov to 11 years, Dmitrii Ogurtsov to 9 1/2 years, and Ruslan Eminov and Denis Kostin to 9 years; Vladimir Gusev was given an unspecified probationary term. The group is believed to have controlled businesses in Chistai as far afield as markets, a dairy, a fish factory, auto-repair stations, and the narcotics and prostitution trade. Suspected ringleader Ildar Vildanov is sought by international law-enforcement agencies.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Privatization Revenues Decrease In Bashkortostan
The Bashkir Property Relations Ministry received income of 670.5 million rubles ($23 million) from privatization and revenues generated from state property in the first seven months of the year, Interfax-Povolzhe reported on 9 August. The figure is 20 percent down from the previous year. Revenues from the sale of state property and state stakes in enterprises totaled 186.6 million rubles, down from last year's figure of 481 million rubles. In 2003, the republican budget collected in total 3.1 billion rubles in revenues from privatization and the use of state property.

Bashkortostan Sees Rise In Incomes
The income of Bashkir residents increased by 6.8 percent in the first seven months of the year as compared to the same period the previous year, Bashkir State Statistics Committee Chairman Ekram Geniev told a government meeting on 9 August, Bashinform reported the same day. Geniev said wages increased in the same period by 14.1 percent. In June, the average wage was 5,682 rubles ($194), while the average pension was 1,734 rubles. Meanwhile, in 2003 the income of the richest 10 percent of the population was 13.3 times as much as the poorest 10 percent.

More Tatar National Cultural Branches Set Up
A group of leaders from Bashkortostan's Tatar civic groups visited Durtoile Raion on 7-8 August to promote the establishment of a local branch of the Tatar national cultural autonomy organization, reported on 9 August. At meetings with raion residents, it was decided to nominate businessman and Tatar activist Rinat Sekhibjadin as head of the branch. A member of the delegation, Bashkir Tatar Congress Executive Committee Deputy Chairman Ramil Bignov, said new branches will also be established in the Tatar-populated Baltach and Borai raions. Bignov said the branches will be charged with promoting a referendum aimed at raising the status of the Tatar language in the republic.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova