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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 2, 2001

2 February 2001
Duma Says Tatar Latin Script Isolates Tatars, Helps Turkey
"Vechernaya Kazan" on 2 February reported that the Duma had released document saying that the introduction of the Latin script for Tatar could adversely affect the rights of Tatars living outside of Tatarstan. Moreover, the document said, such a step will "increase the ethnocultural isolation" of the Tatars from other peoples in the Russian Federation. And it suggested that this will provide an impulse to what it called "Turkey's spiritual expansion in Tatarstan and promote Ankara's political goals."

Shaimiev Backs Aircraft Construction�
Shaimiev told "Rossiiskaya gazeta" on 31 January that he considers space and aircraft construction top priorities for Russia. He sharply criticized those Russian officials who purchase Boeings; he said they were committing a "crime" before the people of Russia.

�As Computer Businessmen Back Him
The heads of Tatarstan's leading computer companies have announced their support for Shaimiev's reelection, "Vremya I Dengi" reported. They said he was pro-business and had promoted scientific development in the republic.

Unemployed Man Joins Ranks of Presidential Candidates
The Central Electoral Commission on 1 February reported that Nikolai Sidukov, 42, has announced his candidacy for republic president. Unemployed and with a prior conviction for hooliganism, Sidukov became the 19th candidate in the race.

Tatarstan Raises Wages By One Fifth
The republic government on 1 February raised the salaries of 260,000 public workers in the education, health care and culture sectors by 20 percent, Tatar television reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Says Russia Must Pay Foreign Debts�
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 1 February said that Russia must pay all its debts to foreign creditors, Bashinform reported. He said that suggestions in the media to the contrary was "absurd, politically baseless, and cause much harm."

�And Complains Too Many Moscovites in the The Federation Council
Rakhimov also said on 1 February that the Federation Council is being "privatized" by Moscow's representatives, the presidential press service reported. He had participated in the Council session the day before and also met with Russian Justice Minister Yuri Chaika to discuss setting up federal justice institutions in Bashkortostan. At another meeting with deputy presidential chief of staff Vladislav Surkov, he negotiated the format of the new Russian passport, as it will be issued in Bashkortostan.

Moscow Unhappy with Ufa Legislation
The chief federal inspector in Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov on 1 February told that the Office of the Russian Prosecutor General remains unsatisfied with Bashkortostan's legislation. He said that when deputy prosecutor general Aleksandr Zvyaginstev visited Ufa on 31 January, he had given State Assembly Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev a long list of suggestions for changes in the republic's constitutions and laws.

Speaker to Discuss Harmonization
State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev will speak on "Harmonization of federal and regional legislation" at the meeting of the Volga district parliamentarians in Nizhny Novgorod, reported on 1 February.

More Residents To Use Cellular Communications
Bashinformsvyaz general manager Salavat Gaisin said that the number of cellular phone subscribers in Bashkortostan, now 40,000, will double in 2001, RBC reported on 1 February.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova