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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 22, 2003

22 September 2003
Shaimiev Elected To Unified Russia Party List
The 20 September congress of the Unified Russia party elected Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev to the party's country-wide list for the December State Duma elections, Russian and Tatar news agencies reported the same day. The other three members of the top list are the party leader, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Moscow mayor Yurii Luzhkov.

Chief Ideology Expert Quits Tatar Branch Of Russian Party Of Life
Midkhet Farukshin, a political science fellow at Kazan State University, has left the local branch of Russia's Party of Life, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. The party is led by Refget Altynbaev, a former Chally mayor and representative in the Russian Federation Council. Altynbaev was recently dismissed by the republic's parliament. Farukshin said that Altynbaev had failed "to fulfill his previous pledges" and had failed to take Farukshin's advice on the party's political program.

Historical Building Returned To Moscow Tatars
The Moscow city government has given back a historical building, Asadullaev's House, to the local Tatar community, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reported on 19 September. The building was built by merchant Shemsi Asadullaev in 1914. During World War II it housed a military hospital and later was used by the Soviet Foreign Ministry. Tatar President Shaimiev and Moscow mayor Luzhkov attended the official opening ceremony of the renovated building. Shaimiev and Luzhkov discussed the development of ethnic schools and a theater for the 1 million-strong Tatar community in the Russian capital. Luzhkov said during the event that the city government had to compensate the Foreign Ministry in order to get Asadullaev's House back.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan's Tatars Call On Shaimiev Not To Support Rakhimov...
Visiting Kazan the previous week, Elfir Saqaev, head of the newly established Tatar civic group Unity, met with Tatar officials to deliver an appeal to Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev from a group of officials and public leaders from Bashkortostan, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 21 September. The appeal read that during the rule of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov, there has been oppression against Tatars and enforced "Bashkirization." Brotherly relations, the appeal continued, between Tatarstan and Bashkortostan have been destroyed. The authors called on the Tatar president not to back the candidacy of Rakhimov in the Bashkir presidential election.

...As SPS Considers Him Best Candidate...
The Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) is backing Rakhimov in the presidential election, SPS leader Andrei Vulf said visiting Ufa on 19 September, the Agency of Electronic News reported the same day. "If it is he whom the people of Bashkortostan would like to see as the republic's leader, one should respect that choice," Vulf said.

...As Does Supreme Mufti
Telget Tajetdin, the supreme mufti of Russia and the European countries of the CIS, told the "Bashkortostan" daily on 12 September that there is no reason to look for a replacement for Rakhimov. "If he decides to run, we religious leaders will be sincerely glad," Tajetdin said.

Moscow To Subsidize New Housing Projects In Ufa
A federal program on housing construction has been launched under which Moscow will allocate 450 million rubles ($14.6 million) to Ufa in the next eight months, Bashinform reported on 19 September. Ufa City Mortgage Agency General Director Anatolii Meizler said the measure comes in the wake of a trilateral agreement signed by the Bashkir government, and federal and Ufa mortgage agencies in July. The program offers 20-year mortgages, with an interest rate of under 15 percent, which cover up to 70 percent of the cost of housing. In the last three years, some 1,000 mortgage loans have been issued under a project implemented by the Ufa City Mortgage Agency and Bashekonombank.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova