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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 24, 2004

24 August 2004
Tatar Prime Minister Criticizes Cabinet's Efforts Toward Attracting Investment
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov told the 23 August meeting of Tatarstan's cabinet that the government is not taking sufficient steps to promote the republic to potential investors, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported the next day. In the first half of 2004, Tatar companies managed to attract some $600 million of investments, approximately 17.6 percent more than in the first half of 2003. Minnikhanov criticized his cabinet for failing to mention or analyze the causes of failed investment projects in the republic, and for failing to provide a detailed report on the latest major investment projects.

Belarusian Prime Minister To Visit Kazan
A working group of Belarusian diplomats and businessmen arrived in Kazan on 24 August to meet with Tatar officials and business circles, and to prepare for Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorskii visit on 16-17 September, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkir Schools Changing Tatar-Language Policy?
Ilfir Qotdisov, principal of the Baytali village school in the Qushnaren region, told an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent on 23 August that Tatar language lessons offered to ethnic Tatar students in Bashkortostan's schools will be replaced with Bashkir language lessons at the beginning of the upcoming school year. According to the republic's state languages law, Bashkir and Russian have official status and Tatar, which is the native tongue of around one-third of the population, can only be taught outside the main curriculum.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi