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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 13, 2004

13 September 2004
Regional FSB Head Says No Tatar Among Beslan Terrorists
Dinar Khemitov, the deputy head of the Federal Security Service's (FSB) Tatarstan branch, on 10 September refuted Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General Sergei Fridinskii's claims that Tatars were among those who carried out the hostage taking at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, on 1-3 September, reported. Khemitov made his comments at a session of Tatarstan's Security Council led by President Mintimer Shaimiev that discussed antiterrorism security in Tatarstan and preparations for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II.

However, in his address to the gathering, First Deputy Interior Minister Renat Timerjanov said that "nobody should be under the delusion that a stable situation exists in Tatarstan," saying the republic long ago attracted the attention of extremist organizations, including those espousing Wahhabism.

President Shaimiev noted that antiterrorism efforts will not affect citizens' human rights, adding that "some people would like us to give up on democratic achievements but we will never do this."

Court Overturns First Guilty Verdict Against Unpaid Wages
The Tatar Supreme Court on 10 September overturns the first verdict passed in Russia against the nonpayment of wages, for which Kazan businessman Aleksandr Novodvorskii was sentenced in June by the Kazan Moscow Raion Court to 18 months' imprisonment, RIA-Novosti reported. The court ruled that Novodvorskii, who headed a company that provided housing and municipal services to Moscow Raion residents, did not pay wages to its employees for August and September of 2002. In his appeal, Novodvorskii argued that he could not pay his employees' wages because Kazan had failed to pay his organization in time.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkortostan Issues Loan
The Bashkir Finance Ministry announced on 10 September that Bashkortostan will issue a republican loan of 500 million rubles ($17.1 million) with fixed-coupon income, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 11 September. The move, originally scheduled for the summer, was postponed until the fall because of the Russian banking crisis. The loan will not exceed Bashkortostan's planned state debt for 2004, which is to total not more than 3.26 billion rubles by January 2005. Currently, Bashkortostan's state debt is 1.6 billion rubles. Akkord-Invest Ufa branch Director Ildar Ganiev commented that issuing the loan will positively affect Bashkortostan's economy, but added that the timing was bad since Russia is still experiencing consequences of the summer banking crisis.

Rakhimov Meets With Gazprom Official
Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov has met with senior Gazprom official Aleksandr Ryazanov, during which they discussed how the 2003 cooperation agreement between Bashkortostan and Gazprom is to be implemented, Regnum reported on 12 September. On the agenda were the establishment of a unified holding and how that company could be supplied with raw materials.

Bashkir Copper, Sulfur Plant Elects New Board Of Directors
At an extraordinary meeting of the shareholders of the Bashkir Copper and Sulfur Plant on 10 September, shareholders restricted the powers of the company's board of directors and revision commission ahead of schedule, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 11 September. The shareholders elected a new board of directors, including eight representatives of the Yekaterinburg Ural Mining and Smelting Company (UGMK) holding and one representative of the state.

Moscow Lawyer Accused Of Fraud
Bashkortostan's prosecutor's office has completed an investigation into Moscow lawyer Anatolii Blinov, "Kommersant-Volga-Urals" reported on 10 September. Blinov is accused of fraud and production of fake promissory notes, crimes that can be punished by between five and 12 years of imprisonment. Blinov's lawyer, Aleksandr Shchekaturov, said that his client denies all accusations and that the charges have been fabricated. Blinov was arrested and detained on 12 May in Ufa. Blinov, the general director of the Bureau for Legal Support, in 1999 represented the interests of Vneshekonombank in its lawsuits against Media-Most on paying back its $42.2 million debt. In 1999-2000, Blinov defended journalist Sergei Dorenko when Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov filed a defamation suit.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova