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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 1, 2001

1 February 2001
Tatarstan To Expand Cooperation With Libya
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov left for Libya on 31 January, Tatarinform agency reported, in order to explore expanding cooperation in the petroleum sector. He and his delegation are to meet Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi and other senior officials

Russian Commanders Concerned About Discipline in Kazan
Kazan military garrison commanders told a meeting in Kazan that they were concerned about increasing crime and negligence among soldiers at bases in Tatarstan. Drunkenness was singled out as a particular problem among both soldiers and officers.

Prosecutor Says Terrorism Not Responsible for Tatazot Explosion
Mendeleev region prosecutors said on 31 January that the Tatazot explosion was not the result of a terrorist act.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Parliament Still Busy Harmonizing
Bashinform reported that the republic legislature will proceed with its harmonization efforts at a plenary session on 1 February by amending republic codes on mass media and natural resources and laws on referendum, foreign treaties, and security.

Bashkortostan, Azerbaijan Ecologists To Cooperate
The Bashkortostan Ecologists Union together with the Moscow Ecological and Legal Problems Institute organized a seminar in Baku to discuss legal issues of oil extraction ecology, Bashinform reported on 31 January. As a result of the forum, deputies and nature protection bodies of Bashkortostan and Azerbaijan agreed to expand cooperation in this domain.

Ufa To Develop Satellite TV�
Bashinformsvyaz General Manager Salavat Gaisin told Bashinform on 31 January that his company will introduce satellite television which will allow the pick-up of the state TV channel Bashkortostan in all republic districts.

�And To Introduce Per Minute Telephone Charge
Vladimir Chessky, head of the Ufa telephone network, said on 31 January that his company will provide in a month conditions for introduction of by-minute telephone charge in the republic, Bashinform reported. He said that subscribers will pay some two third of the fee they currently pay for servicing equipment and six to ten kopecks for each minute of phone usage.

Investment Conditions Improve
State committee in charge of industrial policy on 31 January said that production of machine building companies grew last year twice faster than the republic industry as a whole, Referent-Servis reported. The body reported that due to the reforms conducted, many firms became reliable and may receive investments or credits without much risk, so the republic 2001 budget for the first time provides funds for crediting.

Petroleum, Gas Manufacturers To Gather In Ufa
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 29 January signed a decree to hold in May in Ufa the third Russian-wide congress of oil and gas manufacturers, Bashinform reported.

Tatars Demand More Rights
The executive committee of the Tatar Congress in Bashkortostan went on session on 30 January, RFE\RL correspondent reported from Ufa. The group suggested that protests of Russian general prosecutor concerning the Bashkir Constitution should also cover the issue of republic's state languages. The Congress demanded that Tatar language be given an official status alongside Bashkir and Russian in the republic.

Agricultural Sector To Restructure Debt
Agriculture Mikhail Mineev said on 31 January that the total of debt of Bashkortostan�s collective farms to electricity suppliers had grown to some 1 billion rubles [approx. $ 32 million] and that the government is preparing a restructuring arrangement.

By Gulnara Khasanova and Iskender Nurmi