Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 11, 2002

11 June 2002
Tatarstan, Sverdlovsk Oblast Leaders Discuss Cooperation
Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev arrived in Yekaterinburg, capital of the Sverdlovsk Oblast, for a two-day visit on 10 June, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. Shaimiev met with Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel to discuss bilateral economic cooperation within the framework of a 1997 cooperation treaty. The two regional leaders acknowledged that the annual turnover of industrial products has grown by four times since the agreement was signed, and now exceeds 2 billion rubles ($64.5 million).

Shaimiev is also scheduled to meet with the 240,000-strong Tatar community in the oblast, where celebrations of the traditional Sabantuy holiday are set to begin.

Iranian Governor Visits Kazan
Tatarstan Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met with the governor of Iran's East Azerbaijan province, Mohammadali Sobhanellahi, in Kazan on 10 June to discuss possible economic cooperation between the republic and the province, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today.

The meeting focused on the further use of technology provided by Tatneft for oil extraction in the Iranian province. The Tatarstan oil company has been working in Iran for six years already.

Tatar Organizations 'Shocked' By Assault On Chally TIU Office
The Tatar Public Center (TIU), the Tatar Board of Elders, the Ittifaq Party, and the Milli Mejlis organization addressed letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tatarstan President Shaimiev, and Tatarstan's chief prosecutor Kafil Amirov on 10 June to state their "shock as a result of the 29 May assault of TIU leader Rafis Kashapov," which, the letters claimed, was committed with the consent of Moscow and Kazan authorities, reported the same day. The organizations also requested police protection for the TIU leaders and their offices to prevent further "bandit attacks."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Reacts To Soccer Riot In Moscow
In the wake of the 9 June riot in Moscow following Russia's loss to Japan in the World Cup soccer tournament (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 June 2002), Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov said Russia needs to provide a clear legislative definition of extremism and to impose strict punishment for such acts, Interfax-Eurasia reported the next day. If the government failed to do this, he added, it would lead to undesirable consequences for society. Rakhimov warned, however, that it was also necessary to avoid granting law-enforcement bodies excessive powers in dealing with so-called extremists.

Rakhimov said that in order to prevent the spread of extremism, the Russian government should promote democratic values and make education, health care, and access to sports widely available to all young people, regardless of where they live or their financial standing.

Bashkir Historian Says Congress's Goals Not Fully Implemented...
Marat Kulsharipov, a Bashkir historian and political scientist, told RFE/RL's Ufa corespondent on 10 June that some of the tasks set by the first World Bashkir Congress in 1997 have not yet been fulfilled. Kulsharipov said congress officials have failed to cooperate effectively with Bashkir communities outside Bashkortostan, in the Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Sverdlovsk, and Perm oblasts. According to previous reports by the RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service, the Tatar-Bashkir communities in the above-mentioned regions split up after the Bashkir communities expressed their intention to act independently of Tatars.

...And Comments On Bashkir Population In Northwest
When asked about the October national census, Kulsharipov told RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent on 10 June that, "We will not allow a decrease in the Bashkir population during the [census]." He said he disagreed with the argument of certain public figures in Ufa and Kazan that there are no Bashkirs living in the northwest of Bashkortostan.

During a number of official meetings devoted to the second World Bashkir Congress, chief executive Niyaz Majitov has made similar statements, saying the northwest of the republic is inhabited by Bashkirs who have lost their roots and have been assimilated by Tatars.

Neftekamsk Teachers Begin Hunger Strike
Ten teachers from school No. 1 in Neftekamsk began a hunger strike on 10 June to protest the handover of their school to a future branch of Bashkir State University, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Branches of the university are reportedly being created in many regions of Bashkortostan with the purpose of ensuring Bashkir-language higher education throughout the republic.

Before beginning their strike, Neftekamsk city officials tried to persuade the teachers to reconsider, saying that their school building is in poor condition and needs to be repaired. The city administration also promised the teachers that they could be employed in other local schools.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi