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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 7, 2001

7 February 2001
Federal Prosecutor Unhappy With Tatar Constitution
Tatarstan's Supreme Court will consider a suit by Russian deputy general prosecutor Alexander Zvyagintsev who wants to delete 40 articles of republic's Constitution which he says contradict federal laws, state radio reported on 6 February. The court's deputy chairman Ilgiz Gilazov told Tatarinform agency the same day that Zvyagintsev's claim "was legal." But Consent Commission chairman Rashid Galeev who is representing Kazan in the case said on republic television that the prosecutor's suit "violated prior oral agreements on abstaining from such moves before the presidential elections are over" in March 2001.

Parliament Speaker Urges Go-Slow Approach to Harmonization
State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin said on 6 February that the republic should not proceed hastily in harmonizing republic legislation with federal laws, republic media reported. He said that many republic laws should be retained either because they were better or because changing them precipitously would be unfair.

Tatenergo Gets Loan to Pay Gazprom
Tatenergo took out a 170 million ruble ($6 million) loan to pay Gazprom on time, republic media reported on 6 February. The company said that it would withhold power to debtor enterprises and take additional tough measures to recoup its losses.

Tatarstan Officials Say Libya A Good Potential Partner
On their return from Libya, Tatarstan officials said that Libya could become a good partner for the republic, Tatar media reported on 6 February. Although no cooperation agreement was signed during the visit, they said that it had opened the door to future cooperation.

Salaries of State Employees Rise
First deputy finance minister Raziya Kaneeva said on 6 February that average salaries for state employees had been increased 20 percent as of the start of the year.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Federal Inspector Positive on Bashkortostan's Economic Polices
Rustem Khamitov, the chief federal inspector in Bashkortostan, said on 6 February that Ufa was proceeding in its own way but basically in a good way to produce economic change. He said that the central government has some concerns about confidentiality in this process, arguing that the Bashkir state should seek greater transparency in all its operations. But he said that the republic was as correct as Moscow in its approach that that his job "is to deeply study the situation" rather than pass judgment.

Bashneft to Cut Production
Bashkir media reported on 6 February that Bashneft Oil Company plans to cut its production to 11.6 million tons in 2001, down from 12 million tons in 2000. The company also acknowledged that there is no chance for Bashkortostan to produce the 40-50 million tons each year it produced in Soviet times.

More Money in Circulation
Bashinform agency reported on 6 February that the total volume of money in circulation in the republic had more than doubled in 2000 and reached quoted some "well informed source" on 6 February saying that the volume of 27.8 bill rubles ($1 billion).

Ufa to Own Major Stake in Satellite TV Company
RBC agency announced on 6 February that Bashkortostan�s government will own a 58,6% stake in the regional satellite television to be set up by the early 2002. The state-owned shares reportedly are divided between the State Property Committee and Bashinformsvyaz Company.

Psychologists to Rehabilitate Russian Combat Veterans
The Bashkir State Committee on Youth Policy began a seminar on 7 February to train social workers dealing with problems of those who served in combat zones in Russia and the CIS.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi