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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 26, 2003

26 February 2003
Hearing On Republican Constitution Postponed
The Tatar Supreme Court decided on 25 February to postpone until 7 March a scheduled hearing on a protest against the Tatar Constitution by Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General Aleksander Zvyagintsev, reported the same day. Zvyagintsev is demanding that 19 articles of the constitution be declared in contradiction of federal legislation and that another 18 be declared invalid. The court has agreed to a request by a representative of the Tatar State Council to take into account the republican parliament's appeals to the Russian Constitutional Court (see "RFE/RL Tatar Bashkir Report," 3 October 2002) and the decision of the Tatar Supreme Court that the Tatar parliament did not avoid implementing court decisions (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 27 and 31 January and 6 February 2003). The parliamentary representative requested that the hearing be postponed because the Russian Constitutional Court still has not ruled on the State Council's appeals.

Interior Minister Offers Reward For Information Regarding Killing Of Official
Tatar Interior Minister Esget Seferov has offered a 100,000-ruble ($3,170) reward to anyone offering information that leads to the capture of those responsible for the killing of Daut Korigov, a former interior minister of Ingushetia who was the deputy head of the Tatar Interior Ministry's Environmental Directorate at the time of his death (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 24 February 2003), reported on 25 February.

"Kommersant" on 25 February quoted unidentified investigators as saying that the killers' trail "undoubtedly leads to the Caucasus," adding that it was no coincidence that Korigov was killed on the eve of the anniversary of Soviet-era deportations of Ingush and Chechens.

Tatar, Sverdlovsk Heads Discuss Cooperation
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev discussed with Sverdlovsk Oblast Governor Eduard Rossel by telephone on 25 February ways to implement the two regions' bilateral cooperation accord, Finmarket reported on 25 February, citing the Sverdlovsk Oblast press service. The two leaders agreed that there are good prospects for cooperation, adding that they plan to hold an exhibition in Kazan in June to display products manufactured by companies based in Sverdlovsk Oblast.

Tatspirtprom Boosts Production
The general director of Tatspirtprom, Reshit Sheikhetdinov, told a press briefing on 25 February that the Kazan Liquor and Vodka Plant has begun bottling Romanian wine and plans to sell 1 million liters of the product, Tatar-inform reported the same day. The move to bottle Romanian wine came in response to the adoption earlier this month of the republican program on alcohol production, sale, and consumption, in accordance with which the share of so-called light alcoholic beverages is to be increased to 87 percent of all alcoholic beverages sold in the republic.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Republic Marks Flag Day
Bashkortostan celebrated Flag Day on 25 February, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. The republic selected its official flag, which has three stripes in blue, white, and green, in February 1992, though its size was adjusted in December of last year to meet federal regulations on flag dimensions.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi