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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 17, 2002

17 January 2002
Presidents Of Russia, Tatarstan Reach Constitutional Compromise
The State Council press center on 16 January released a statement by State Council Chairman Farit Mukhametshin saying the four remaining controversial issues in the Tatarstan Constitution's new version have been agreed by the presidents of Russia and Tatarstan. Mukhametshin said harmonization procedures on the Tatarstan Constitution were finished, but the draft has not been included in an agenda of the next parliamentary session on 17 January because republican authorities are waiting for a verdict from the Constitutional Court on the legitimacy of the republican parliament. That verdict is expected to be issued next week, he said. Amendments to the constitution will then be proposed to the current parliament -- or to a new one if the court declares the current legislature illegitimate -- Mukhametshin said. He stressed that in either case, "We are going to discuss amendments without haste and to attract to the process a wide range of the electorate," adding that the draft will be published in the press after its first reading.

Russian Deputy Premier Promises Support For Tatarstan Aircraft, Defense Industries
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who heads KamAZ's board, told Tatar-inform on 16 January that the truck maker, which controls 60 percent of the Russian market, has "very good prospects" and must increase its share to 80 percent of truck sales in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Klebanov said the Kazan Gorbunov Aviation Plant, together with the Ulyanovsk and Voronezh aircraft companies, will remain Russia's serial producers of civil aircraft. The Kazan company will produce Tu-214s and has very good prospects for the Tu-334, he said. Klebanov also highly evaluated the Kazan-produced NK-93 aviation engine, adding that its serial production will be launched after tests are completed in late 2003 or early 2004. Klebanov said all of Tatarstan's defense enterprises will enjoy support under a federal program on reforming the sector.

Shaimiev Praises Ombudsman's Activities
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 16 January received Tatarstan Human Rights representative Rashit Vagizov and expressed support for his activities. Shaimiev said the group plays a major role in the creation of a legal state. Vagizov suggested that representative offices of Tatarstan's ombudsman be opened in large cities and raion centers, with the adoption of corresponding amendments to the republican law on a human rights representative.

Shaimiev Says Kazan, St. Petersburg May Jointly Celebrate Jubilees
President Shaimiev said some events devoted to the city of Kazan's millennium may be held together with St. Petersburg, which will celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2003, Rosbalt reported on 15 January. Speaking at a meeting of the state commission on preparations for the Kazan millennium, Shaimiev called for cost savings.

Presidential Envoy Opens Presence In Chally
A reception room and office of the presidential envoy to the Volga district opened in Chally on 16 January, Tatar-inform reported. Mission official Albina Idrisova told the agency that similar offices will open as well in Bogelme and Chistai.

Tatenergo Pays Gazprom In Pipelines
Tatenergo transferred to Tattransgaz, the Gazprom branch in Tatarstan, 26 million rubles' ($853,000) worth of gas pipelines and infrastructure in payment as part of a debt restructuring, "Vremya novostei online" reported on 16 January.

Tatarstan To Produce Chechen Depositors List
Russian Sberbank in Tatarstan will register depositors of the savings bank's former Chechen Bank during the next two months, Tatar-inform reported on 16 January.

Kazan Among Russia's Cheapest Cities For Food
Kazan was rated fourth among Russian regions in terms of the cheapest cost of a basket of basic foods at 770 rubles ($25), Tatar-inform reported on 15 January. The Tatarstan capital follows Ulyanovsk (759 rubles), Tambov (760 rubles), and Elista (765 rubles). The average cost of such a basket increased by 18.8 percent last year in Russia, and by 3.7 percent in December alone to 891 rubles ($29), the agency said.

Number Of Orphans In Chally On The Rise
Seventy-eight children were adopted in Chally in 2001 -- eight by residents of the United States -- Tatar-inform reported on 16 January. However, the parents of 120 other children were deprived of their parental rights in the city last year.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Academician Lauds State Control Of Economy
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 15 January received academician Leonid Abalkin, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Economics Institute, to discuss economic development in the country, Bashinform reported. Abalkin called Bashkortostan one of Russia's most-developed regions and praised republican authorities for efficient policies of state control of the economy, strong intellectual potential, and dynamical economic growth.

Presidential Chief Of Staff Calls On Administration Heads To Cherish Reputations...
Bashkortostan presidential Chief of Staff Ildar Gimaev called for the adoption of a united state program for training civil servants in Bashkortostan, Bashinform reported on 16 January. He said 38 heads of cities and district administrations -- 54 percent of the total -- were sacked in the republic in the past two years, 20 of them for violations including embezzlement, abuse of office, and bad economic results. Gimaev stressed that administration heads, as representatives of the republican presidents in districts, must be highly authoritative and cherish their reputations.

...And Criticizes Them For Orthographic Mistakes
Gimaev also said on 16 January that roughly 7,000 letters were addressed to President Rakhimov in 2001, some 14 percent more than the previous year, and about 9,000 residents were personally received by administration officials, Bashinform reported.

Speaking at a seminar of administration heads in Ufa, Gimaev chastised district leaders for stylistic and spelling errors in correspondence to the president, citing one such message that contained 30 mistakes on one page. He also sharply criticized "gross violations" of a law on translations for signs from Russian into Bashkir and vice-versa, citing a sign at an agricultural farm that can be translated from Bashkir as "God himself will head this station."

Youth Bodies Concerned About Chechnya Veterans
Roughly 80 percent of Bashkortostan's 10,000 Chechen war veterans need social support, and 99 percent need psychological help, Bashinform reported on 16 January, citing a poll conducted by the republican State Committee on Youth Policy. To provide such help for veterans of Chechnya, the committee has established a network of 10 centers for their social and psychological rehabilitation throughout the republic, the agency said.

Three-Fourths Of Homeless Children Adopted
Bashinform reported on 16 January that 2,400 of the 3,227 homeless children registered last year in the republic have been adopted. The republican budget contributes 700 rubles ($23) a month for subsidies to each such child.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova