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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 8, 2001

8 February 2001
Navy To Provide Tatarstan Companies With Orders
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 7 February met with visiting chief commander of Russian Navy Vladimir Kuroedov to discuss development of defense industry and distribution of the Navy orders at the republic defense enterprises, Tatar television reported. They visited Yeshel Uzen Gorky ship plant and Sergo plant POZIS. Kuroedov said that Tatarstan companies can rely on large orders of the Navy and added that Gorky ship plant will likely become a main constructor of ships for the Caspian fleet. Next year, the plant will start construction of a new ship.

Shaimiev Has Highest Rating
President Mintimer Shaimiev tops rating of Russian regional leaders influence as a result of a questioning of 22 experts conducted by the Political Technologies Center, APN reported on 7 February. He is the first among 88 regional heads both on the lists of the total political influence and influence at a federal level with 4.74 and 4.7 points from maximum 5. Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov is the eighth on both lists with 4.18 and 3.89 points.

One Candidate Registered, Another Drops Out
The Central Electoral Commission on 7 February registered Duma deputy Ivan Grachev as a presidential candidate, Tatar-inform reported. The commission after checking 11,400 signatures from 57,500 he totally passed recognized only 86 to be doubtful. Yeshel Uzen deputy administration head Aleksandr Fedorov also passed to the commission 57,500 collected signatures. The commission head Anatoly Fomin said that another pretender, unemployed Valery Romanov from Zainsk, informed the body that he withdraws from the race.

Shashurin Prepares For Battle
Duma deputy Sergei Shashurin who is running for president said on 6 February that he won't vote for Shaimiev and intends "to engage in honest battle with him," Tatar-inform reported. He said his recent comment that he "owes Shaimiev a voice as he protected me when I was imprisoned" explained his recent vote in favor of the Duma amendment allowing governors to ballot for the third time.

Muslim Leaders Back Shaimiev
The Tatarstan Muslim Religious Board on 7 February said that it will support Mintimer Shaimiev at the presidential elections arguing that he "can guarantee further spiritual revival of Tatarstan's peoples," Tatar television reported.

Tatar Losses in Chechnya Growing
Tatarstan's Recruiting Office on 7 February said that 35 republic servicemen had died in Chechnya in 2000, Tatar-inform reported. Since the beginning of the Chechen campaign in 1999, 55 people, of them 8 officers, 9 sergeants and contractors, and 40 soldiers, were lost there. Ninety servicemen injured in Chechnya are receiving treatment now in the republic.

Tatar Textbooks Published In Latin Script
Tatarstan's publishing house Magarif has issued first four textbooks in Tatar Latin script to the order of Education Ministry, reported on 6 February.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Ufa, Moscow Discuss Harmonization
The bilateral consent commission on harmonizing legislation met on 7 February to discuss the state of play on this issue, reported. Deputy presidential representative to Volga administrative district Alexander Yevstifeev and members of Russian president's legal board said they would propose amendments to 51 federal laws on Bashkortostan's behalf.

Bashkortostan's Tatars Seek Meeting with Shaimiev
Members of the Bashkortostan Tatar community have asked for a meeting with Tatarstan President Mintimir Shaimiev to discuss their current problems, an RFE/RL correspondent in Ufa reported on 7 February.

Ufa Approves Raising Status of National Bank
Bashkir officials on 7 February endorsed a plan to increase the coordinating role of the National Bank. Meanwhile, Rustem Khamitov, the chief federal inspector in Bashkortostan said that there was too much monopolization of the banking sector in the republic.

Rakhimov Marks 67th Birthday
President Murtaza Rakhimov marked his 67th anniversary on 7 February, the presidential press service announced.

Ufa Maintains Ties With Bashkir Diaspora
Bashkirs from Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Orenburg, Samara, Tumen, Perm, Kurgan and other Russian regions gathered in Ufa on 7 February for a two-day conference on expanding their cultural awareness, Bashinform reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi