23 August 2002
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANKAPO Official Rebuffs Allegations Against Tu-214
Tatarstan's first deputy minister of economy and industry, Sergei Mukhin, said at a press conference in Kazan on 22 August that Dalavia airlines of Khabarovskii Krai has no basis for claims against Kazanskoe Aviatsionnoe Proizvodstvennoe Obedinenie (the Kazan Aircraft Plant, KAPO) concerning the use of KAPO-produced Tupolev 214 aircraft, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. "Kommersant" daily had reported on 19 August that Dalavia's general director, Pavel Sevastianov, had claimed that the airline's use of the Tu-214 had resulted only in losses (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 20 August 2002).
Mukhin responded to the allegations by deflecting blame onto the makers of spare parts for the aircraft, saying that such parts are not produced by KAPO but by at least 1,000 companies throughout Russia. He said that some of these companies haven't had any large orders for parts recently and thus have lost their skills.
Putin To Visit Kazan On 29-30 August
An anonymous official at the Tatar presidential press service told an RFE/RL Kazan correspondent on 23 August that Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Kazan on 29-30 August to meet with delegates at the third World Tatar Congress and to chair a meeting of the organizing committee for Kazan's 1,000th-anniversary celebrations. The official added that Putin is expected to take part in celebrations marking Republic Day and Kazan Day on 30 August.
Shaimiev Sends Condolences In Wake Of Helicopter Crash
President Mintimer Shaimiev sent has sent condolences to the parents of the three soldiers from Tatarstan who were killed in the 19 August helicopter crash in Chechnya, the presidential press service reported on 22 August (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 22 August 2002). Shaimiev thanked the parents of the soldiers for "raising true citizens and defenders of the fatherland." The Tatar president also ordered the administrations of the Elmet, Chally, and Nurlat regions, where the soldiers lived, to lend assistance to their families.
Relatives of the soldiers left for Rostov-na-Donu on 22 August to identify the bodies.
Tatarstan's Muslims To Publish Their Own Theological Literature
Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board plans to introduce its own set of books on theology to be used at Russia's Islamic University in Kazan, board First Deputy Chairman Valiulla Yakup told reporters on 22 August, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 23 August. Yakup said that the books will be based on theological literature from Arab countries, but with a few "adjustments" for conditions in Russia.
Harvesting Of Republican Fields Nearly Done
Farmers in Tatarstan have harvested 70 percent of their grain crops, Tatar-inform reported on 22 August. About 3.6 million tons of grain have been harvested so far, and the process is expected to finish by 1 September, two weeks ahead of the official deadline.
Tatarstan, Iran To Discuss Increased Trade
Iran's trade representative to Russia, Amir Shalbaf, is expected to visit Kazan on 26 August upon the invitation of Tatar Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Khafiz Salikhov, tatnews.ru reported on 22 August. The two are expected to discuss the possibility of increasing bilateral trade, which totaled only $1.5 million in 2001, or 0.05 percent of Tatarstan's total trade turnover for that year.
About 70 percent of Tatarstan's exports to Iran consisted of synthetic rubber and car tires, while the rest was made up of aluminum, plastics, clothing, and sunflower oil.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTANUnified Russia Official Wants To Revive Soviet-Era Party Rules
Mansur Ayupov, chairman of the pro-government Unified Russia party's Political Council in Bashkortostan said on 23 August that "it would be more efficient" if new candidates for party membership were proposed by their workplace collectives, an RFE/RL correspondent in Ufa reported. Ayupov reportedly added that "only colleagues could assess the political and professional qualities of this or that individual and, after becoming a member of this authoritative organization [Unified Russia], the new member will consider problems from his collective's point of view." The same system for proposing future party members was used by the Communist Party of the USSR, when collective interests were promoted over private interests.
Republic Resumes Attracting Funds From The Domestic Market
Bashkortostan's cabinet issued a decree on the issuance of 500 million rubles ($15.87 million) worth of bonds to the Russian stock market through the UralSib Bank, Finmarket reported on 22 August. Investment attracted with these bonds will be awarded with 3.75 percent interest to be paid six times during a 546-day period beginning in mid-September 2002.
In November 2001 and June 2002 Bashkortostan's government held two bond emissions valued at 1.5 billion rubles ($47.6 million). Standard & Poor's rating agency estimated Bashkortostan's long-term credit rating on 16 August as "B1" (positive).
Government Discusses Health Care Achievements
Prime Minister Rafael Baydaveltov chaired a government meeting devoted to "Health Year" events organized in Bashkortostan this year, "Respublika Bashkortostan" wrote on 23 August. Although Baydaveltov praised the increased attention the government is giving to the health of its citizens, the head of the local Social Insurance Fund, Marat Latipov, said in his report that 70 percent of the 1.4 million rubles ($44,000) raised by his fund in 2002 were spent on medication for residents rather than on recreation programs, "which signifies [the] poor health of the people."
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi