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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 7, 2003

7 January 2003
UN Freezes KamAZ Exports To Iraq
At a session in late December 2002, the UN Security Council voted to prohibit the import of Tatarstan-made KamAZ trucks to Iraq because they represent "goods, which could boost the country's military force," Prime-TASS reported on 4 January. The decision was approved by 13 council members with abstentions by Russia and Syria, effectively halting the shipments of Tatar trucks previously practiced within the framework of UN sanctions.

Russian Navy Grateful For Tatarstan's Help
Victor Kravchenko, Russian Navy chief of staff, and other high-ranking navy officers met with Nezif Mirikhanov, Tatarstan's representative in Moscow, on 5 January to express their gratitude to President Mintimer Shaimiev for his republic's assistance to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and help in reforming the military industries, Intertat reported on 6 January. For more than a decade Tatarstan has been supplying the staff and the vessels of the Black Sea Fleet, while in 2002 the republic's Yeshel Uzen Shipbuilding Plant finished the assembly of the "Tatarstan" guard boat, now the most sophisticated ship in the Caspian Sea Fleet.

Shaimiev Greeting Orthodox Christians On Christmas Eve
On 6 January, Orthodox Christmas Eve, President Shaimiev addressed his greetings to Tatarstan's Orthodox Christians, in which praised the key role of their religion in the republic's history, according to the presidential press service. He noted Tatarstan's thousand-year tradition of peaceful coexistence of different religions and mutual respect between the various confessions. He also addressed greeting to Patriarch Aleksii II.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Industrial Production, Housing Construction Up In 2002
Industrial production in Bashkortostan in the first 11 months of 2002 increased by 2.4 percent in comparison with the same period of 2001, with growth being strongest in the nonferrous-metals and machine-building sectors, reported on 3 January. Housing construction also increased by 9.2 percent, totaling 1.02 million square meters of new space. Bashkortostan leads all regions of the Volga Federal District in terms of housing construction per thousand residents at 249 square meters, up 20 meters from the previous year.

Tatar Activist Comments On Problems Facing Tatar National Movement
Reis Qarachurin, a member of Bashkortostan's Tatar Milli Mejlis, told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on 5 January that 2002 was a year of defeats for Tatars in the republic. Qarachurin said that opportunities for using the Tatar language decreased, adding that republican television has increased its Bashkir- and Russian-language programming tenfold over the past 12 years. He also said that the registering of a number of Tatar villages as Bashkir in the Russian census in October provided the grounds to eliminate Tatar schools in those areas. Qarachurin blamed this situation to a large extent on the republic's Tatar national movement itself, which, he said, restricts itself to words and complaints instead of actions.

Republic Opens 10 New Mosques
Ten new mosques have been opened in Bashkortostan since the beginning of December, reported on 5 January. One of these was opened in the Tatar village of Bishqurai in Ilesh Raion at the start of the new year in a ceremony conducted by the head of the Central Muslim Religious Board, Supreme Mufti Telget Tajetdin. Altogether, the raion has about 30 mosques.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova