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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 1, 2004

1 December 2004
Tatarstan Adopts Anticorruption Strategy
Tatarstan's Security Council on 30 November endorsed a new anticorruption strategy, which will be used for reference when adopting laws on curbing the illegal practices of state bodies, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. The strategy was drafted by INDEM President Georgii Sattarov, who relied on research compiled by the foundation on corruption in Tatarstan and Russia. In introducing the document, Tatarstan's First Deputy Prime Minister Rawyl Moratov warned that the strategy presented "honest" and therefore shocking figures. The strategy paper reportedly placed Tatarstan in the middle of the pack of the 40 most corrupt regions in Russia. INDEM's public-opinion polls conducted in Tatarstan revealed that local residents named the lack of clear anticorruption policies, the low qualification levels of personnel, the lack of business ethics among political leaders as the major reasons for corruption.

Tatar, Bashkir Audit Chambers Establish Closer Ties
The audit chambers of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan republics have signed a cooperation treaty under which they will jointly work to ensure the lawful use of budgetary and non-budgetary funds, Tatar-inform reported on 30 November. Under the agreement, the sides will conduct joint training courses for audit executives.

Government To Offer Its Funds To New Technology Businesses
Yevgenii Grishin, head of the economy and finance department in Tatarstan's Cabinet of Ministers, told reporters on 30 November that the government had established an investment and venture fund for financing the creation of high-technology technologies in the republic, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 1 December. The fund will use excess revenues from Tatarstan's budget for the initiative.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Pro-Government Bashkortostan Peoples' Congress Addresses Putin
The council of the pro-governmental Assembly of Bashkortostan's Peoples, which is chaired by former World Bashkir Congress leader Niyaz Mejitov, adopted an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin on 27 November stating that the group of Tatar rights organizations "were aiming to destabilize interethnic relations" in the republic. The council, which the same day held a congress of Bashkortostan's Tatars in Moscow, has denied previous allegations made by Tatar rights organizations, which had complained that they were not allowed to hold a congress in their home republic of Bashkortostan. According to the appeal, the only lawful Congress of Bashkortostan Tatars is the one chaired by Eduard Khemitov, who is often accused by independent Tatar civic groups of being strongly affiliated with Bashkortostan's government.

Rakhimov Talks Moscow Into Privatizing Polief Factory...
Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov told reporters upon his return from Moscow on 30 November that he has reached an agreement with the minister of economic development and trade, German Gref, on speeding up the privatization of the Polief chemical factory. Rakhimov said the factory will be privatized in an auction, and that the starting price will be lowered until an interested party confirms its participation in the auction, Bashinform reported the same day.

...And Meets With Russia's Human Rights Commissioner
Also during his Moscow visit, Rakhimov met with Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin, who, according to the Bashkir president, "confirmed that there were a number of [human rights] violations discovered in Bashkortostan, especially among law enforcement bodies although, compared to the situation in other Russian regions, Bashkortostan looks quite well off." Rakhimov pledged that he will continue his "full-scale assistance" to human rights activists in his republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi