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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 5, 2001

5 February 2001
Supreme Court Says President Need Not Know Both State Languages
Tatarstan's Supreme Court on 2 February agreed with a suit filed by the prosecutor's office and declined that future presidents of the republic need not know how to speak both state languages, Tatar radio reported. Republic deputy Tufan Minnullin called the event "a trial over the Tatar language," while deputy Aleksandr Shtanin said that changing the rules during an election campaign can cast doubts on the legitimacy of any shift.

Safiullin Says Duma Efforts Against Tatar Latin Alphabet Reminds Stalin Period
Duma deputy Fandas Safiullin on 2 February told Kazan's weekly "Vostochnyi ekspress" that a Duma document on Tatarstan's latinization plans has the style of the 1930s and is therefore "abominable by its reactionary nature, ethnic intolerance, and lack of understanding." He added that under Stalin, people were deported on the basis of such accusations, and he suggested that if Moscow tries to do anything on the basis of this document, "it will signal a further attack against our republic." Safiullin said that the Duma document violates the Russian Constitution and noted that suggestions that the latinization of Tatar would cut off Tatars living elsewhere in the Russian Federation ignored the fact that up to now no one except Tatarstan has published a single book for Russia's Tatars.

Republican Party Leader Says He's Too Old to Run
Tatarstan Republican Party leader Mukhammat Sabirov said he is too old to run for president and his party has therefore decided not to submit a nominee for the upcoming election. Mukhammat Sabirov said Tatarstan's president should be as young as the president of the Russian Federation.

Grachev Turns in Candidate Petitions
Duma deputy Ivan Grachev on 2 February handed into the Central Electoral Commission 57,000 signatures in support of his candidacy for president, Tatar radio reported. He became the first among 19 aspirants to do so. Grachev, 49, heads the mortgage crediting commission in the Duma. He was nominated by the Ravnopraviye i Zakonnost public organization.

KamAZ To Compete for Equipping Russian Army
KamAZ general manager Ivan Kostin on 3 February told RIA-Novosti that his company will participate in a tender for deliveries of trucks, engines, and spares to Russian army.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Kirienko Says Good Regional Laws Should Become Models for Federal Statutes
Sergei Kirienko, the presidential representative to the Volga Federal District, said on 2 February that "work on harmonizing regional legislation is finished, but we shall start a work on harmonizing federal legislation with the best regional acts." These comments came at a meeting of the District entities speakers in Nizhny Novgorod. He said that during the harmonization process, some regional laws had proved to be "better, more progressive and interesting" that the equivalent federal legislation. He criticized the State Duma for "very bad" and slow work concerning Bashkortostan's legislation on young people and families and concerning Tatarstan's act on employment policies. He urged participants in the meeting to consider how to accelerate Duma action on these laws.

District Official Says Regions Heads Are Not To Be Dismissed
Volga Federal District office spokesman Sergei Novikov told on 2 February that heads of the district regions are unlikely be dismissed for resisting harmonization of regional legislation. His comments came after the law allowing the Russian President to initiate dismissal of regions heads came into effect on 1 February. Novikov said that the district units had performed the task well and that President Vladimir Putin sees this work as conscientious. Entities in the Volga Federal District harmonized 750 of what were identified as 853 acts in contradiction with federal regulations.

Government Won't Fund Unprofitable Farms
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 2 February said that agriculture productivity figures were falling behind industrial ones, that 134 farms had gone bankrupt in 2000, and that the government henceforce would only support profitable farms, even if they were private, Bashinform reported.

Official Says Energy Price Rises Lead to Non-Payments
Deputy Construction and Housing Policy Minister Vladimir Morozov on 2 February said that recent price increases for energy had caused consumers to delay payments for energy supplies, thus slowing modernization and reequipment programs, Bashinform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova