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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 25, 2003

25 June 2003
Speaker Promotes Legal Conditions For Activities Of Regional Constitutional Courts
State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin delivered a report on the legislative regulation of the constitutional courts of Russian Federation entities at Russian Legislators Council Presidium meeting on 23 June, Tatar-inform reported the next day. Mukhametshin pointed out that constitutional justice in federation entities should be regulated not only by regional but also by federal legislation and called for the adoption of a corresponding federal law, a proposal that presidium members supported. Mukhametshin said the establishment of constitutional courts will be obligatory for all Russian territorial entities, though some governors fear the appearance of constitutional courts, which often limit the powers of the executive branch. Mukhametshin also said that the constitutional courts of federation subjects should be charged with considering issues on conformity between the constitutions and the charters of entities and their agreements with other regions and local self-government bodies.

On 24 June, Mukhametshin took part in a meeting of the Russian Legislative Council, which discussed the issue of food safety and the development of the agro-industrial industry and land reform in Russia.

Ak Bars Bank Receives $14 Million Credit
The Ak Bars Bank obtained the second part of a $14 million international credit organized by Vienna's Raiffeisen Zentralbank and Moscow's Raiffeisenbank Austria, reported on 24 June, citing the bank press service. The credit will be disbursed by the Austrian Adria Bank over 180 days and is to be repaid by 15 December. Ak Bars became the first bank in Tatarstan and the 10th in Russia to receive an international credit.

Boeing Distributes Grants To Aviation University Students
The Boeing company granted three $1,000 scholarships to students of aerospace engineering at the universities of Kazan, Samara, and Ufa, Tatar-inform and reported on 24 June. The executive director of Boeing's Russian Representation Department, Vladimir Titov, handed out grants the same day in Kazan to the students. One of them, Kazan Technical University graduate Yaroslav Ivanov, designed an aircraft able to take-off and land vertically.

Boeing has been giving incentives to the best aerospace students in Russia for six years. This year, it has given grants to students in Moscow, Voronezh, Novosibirsk, and Krasnoyarsk.

Telephone Rates To Rise By 30 Percent
The Russian Antimonopoly Ministry issued a decision to increase the tariffs of local and intercity telephone communications provided by the Tatar Communications Ministry by some 30 percent as of 1 July, Rosbizneskonsalting reported on 24 June.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Personnel Rearrangements In Cabinet Of Ministers
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 24 June appointed Reshit Sattarov, the former head of the Russian Tax Ministry's Bashkir Directorate, as deputy prime minister and construction, architecture, and transport minister, Bashinform reported the same day. Sattarov, 43, was dismissed from the same post on 12 March by Russian Tax Minister Gennadii Bukaev for "non-implementation of official duties" after he opposed the position of the ministry, which had accused Bashkir oil refineries of evading payment of 10 billion rubles ($329 million) in taxes. The Bashkir Supreme Court ruled on 11 June that Sattarov's dismissal was legal (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 27 March, 2, 5, 12 May, and 12 June 2003). The post of the construction, architecture, and transport minister fell vacant in April when Ramil Mirseev, the then-minister, was dismissed by Rakhimov.

Interior Ministry Initiates Audits In Mezhprombank, Gazprom Local Offices
Bashkir First Deputy Interior Minister Nikolai Patrikeev told a press conference on 24 June that large-scale audits will be conducted in the near future in the Ufa branch of Mezhprombank and Gazprom's local branch, Bashtransgaz. The measure is part of an investigation into a fraud case involving 2.1 million rubles ($69,238) worth of Mezhprombank promissory notes, Patrikeev said. He added that employees of the Bashkir National Bank will conduct the Mezhprombank audit, while Gazprom workers will be responsible for the same process in Bashtransgaz.

New Muslim Religious Board Set Up In Bashkortostan
A Regional Muslim Board (RUM) has been established in Bashkortostan to coordinate the activities of Muslim communities subordinate to the Central Muslim Religious Board of Russia (TsDUM) in the republic, RosBalt reported on 24 June, citing TsDUM. Mohemmet Tajetdinov, the son of TsDUM Chairman Telget Tajetdin, will head RUM, which unites 600 Muslim communities in Bashkortostan's 54 raions. Before, those communities were directly subordinate to TsDUM but lacked "due attention," according to the report. In Bashkortostan, there is also the Muslim Religious Board of Bashkortostan led by Mufti Nurmokhemmet Nigmetullin, which is in opposition to TsDUM. The Muslim Religious Board of Bashkortostan unites more than 200 mukhtasibats, which are territorial subdivisions.

Hypermarket Saleswomen Stage Hunger Strike In Ufa
Thirty-six saleswomen employed at the Ufa hypermarket began a hunger strike in Bashkortostan's capital on 24 June to protest plans to make 550 employees redundant following the sale of the building, RosBalt reported the same day. The women barricaded the building and distributed placards demanding that the hypermarket not be sold. The deputy general director of the hypermarket, Shamil Mokhtesimov, told the news agency that the management and employees of the trade complex disagree with the decisions of the Bashkir and Yekaterinburg arbitration courts to hand over the building to the Gostinyi Dvor company. The Russian Supreme Arbitration Court, which is considering an appeal, ruled on 20 June that the eviction of the previous owners be stopped.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova