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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 26, 2002

26 August 2002
Chechnya Looks To Tatarstan For Constitutional Basis
Edi Isaev, head of the information department at the representative office of the Russian president in Chechnya, told a press conference in Moscow on 23 August that Chechen media will publish the text of a draft constitution in "the very near future." The draft constitution is expected to be voted on in a referendum in December. Isaev added that the document is based on the Tatar Constitution but that it has a number of provisions that need to be revised.

Shaimiev Ranked Among Top Lobbyists
A recent survey by the Economic News Agency and "Nezavisimaya gazeta" of 65 experts throughout Russia's regions ranked Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev as the third-best lobbyist among regional politicians, reported on 23 August. The poll examined the efficiency of regional politicians, businessmen, and state officials in terms of what it termed "civilized lobbying," i.e., lobbying that does not involve bribery or any other illegal means.

Shaimiev was ranked behind Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov and Chukotka Governor Roman Abramovich.

Automotive Concern Cites Reduced Production As Reason For Expected Annual Losses
Sergei Kogogin, general director of the KamAZ automotive concern, told a press conference in Moscow on 23 August that his company planned to finish the year with losses, Tatar-inform reported the same day. Kogogin said the company is not going to make any profits because production plans for 2002 were recently reduced because of low production in the first half of the year. Instead of the 25,000 vehicles KamAZ expected to manufacture this year, the company is now planning to produce only about 20,000-20,500, Kogogin said.

Danis Veliev, KamAZ's chief engineer, said at the same briefing that the company plans to open more assembly lines in the Commonwealth of Independent States and in other foreign countries. The company already operates assembly lines in Azerbaijan and Ethiopia.

World Tatar Congress To Be Broadcast On The Internet
The plenary session of third World Tatar Congress on 29 August will be broadcast on the Internet (, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 26 August. The website will have sufficient capacity to host 5,000 viewers at a time. The same people who broadcast the first-ever Tatar Internet concert on 21 August will also be responsible for broadcasting the Tatar congress (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Review," 23 August 2002).

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Paper Links Sale Of Shares To Rakhimov's Presidential Campaign
"Kommersant" daily commented on 23 August that the decree signed by Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov two days earlier allowing the sale of shares in the petrochemical holding Bashneftekhim and in the Bashkortostan Fuel Company (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Review," 23 August 2002) signified the willingness of Bashkir authorities to raise money "not only for [industrial] development but also to finance the present government's election campaign next year." In 2003, Bashkortostan plans to hold the third presidential elections in its history.

Some of the companies expected to compete for the shares include LUKoil, Tyumen Oil Company, Tatneft, and Surgutneftegas, all of which supply oil to the republic's oil-processing plants.

The Bashkir Property Ministry owns 100 percent of the shares in the Bashkortostan Fuel Company and 99 percent in Bashneftekhim. The Bashkortostan Fuel Company owns in turn 63.7 percent of the shares in the republic's major oil producer, Bashneft; 63.7 percent of the shares in Bashkirenergo; and 24.5 percent of the shares in Uralsibnefteprovod, the oil pipeline connecting Bashkortostan and Siberia.

Bashneftekhim unites the major oil-processing companies in the republic, including the Ufa Oil Refinery, the Novoufimskii Oil Refinery, Ufaneftekhim, and Ufaorgsintez.

Case Against Supreme Court Chairman Dropped
The case against Bashkir Supreme Court Chairman Marat Vakilov has been closed and all charges against him dropped, the republican edition of Russia's "Izvestiya" daily reported on 20 August (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 23 May 2002). Anatolii Smirnov, head of investigations at the Bashkir Interior Ministry, confirmed this information in an interview with Bashinform on 23 August , adding that the case was not closed in a legal manner since investigators came under a lot of pressure from the Russian Supreme Court and top federal officials. Smirnov suggested that there were some political interests involved in the decision to close the investigation.

Unified Russia Expanding In Republic
The branch of Unified Russia in Bashkortostan plans to sign up 10,000 members by mid-autumn, the party's press service announced on 24 August. The party has already established a number of offices in rural areas of the republic by using the old Soviet system of rural councils.

Government Not Happy With Work In Farm Sector
According to a government meeting devoted to the republic's agriculture sector on 23 August, only 9 percent of grain storehouses in the republic have been filled, Bashinform reported the same day. Bashkir Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov said the pace of work in the republic's agriculture sector is not satisfactory and that the government expects farms to work more efficiently. Meanwhile, official statistics indicate that 31 percent of farmland in the republic has been harvested.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi