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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 12, 2001

12 February 2001
Shaimiev Turns in Petitions
An initiative group supporting incumbent President Mintimer Shaimiev on 9 February turned into the Central Electoral Commission petitions with 57,500 signatures and other documents required for his registration as a presidential candidate, Tatar-inform reported.

Khakimov Notes Disintegrationist Predictions
Rafail Khakimov, a presidential state adviser, said on 9 February that many people currently predict Russia's disintegration because its state bodies are weak and the principles of its federative nature are unclear. He said that predictions for the future now include complete disintegration, the return of an empire, or federalization of one kind or another. His comments came at an international conference on federalism held in Kazan.

Tatneft To Boost Cooperation with Arkhangelsk
Tatneft and the Arkhangelsk oblast administration on 9 February signed a cooperation agreement providing for delivery of oil to the oblast, Tatar-inform reported. The two sides also agreed to restructure Arkhangelsk's 500 million ruble ($18 million) debt to Tatneft.

Kazan Shares Self-Governance Experience
Heads of self-government bodies from 14 Russian cities, Astana, and Kiev on 9 February gathered in Kazan to consider the experience of the Tatarstan capital in developing self-government, clearing slums, and restorating the historical part of the city, Tatar-inform reported.

Chally Postpones Per-Minute Telephone Charges
Chally telephone officials on 9 February said that they had postponed the introduction of introduction of per-minute telephone charges, Efir-Inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Visits Austria with Putin
President Murtaza Rakhimov accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin to Vienna on 9 February in order to sign contacts with several companies, Nizhny Novgorod agency reported. Meanwhile, Bashinform said, Putin had greeted Rakhimov on his birthday.

Parliament To Finish Harmonization In March
Deputy speaker Minnirais Ishmuratov on 9 February told RIA-Novosti that the republic legislature will complete harmonization by March. He said that the harmonization commission of the Volga Federal District had recommended that the State Duma use republic laws on drinking water, flora, ecological monitoring, and fighting corruption as models for development of similar federal acts. And he added that the republic commission also proposed amendments to 12 federal laws on legislative and executive authority, foreign trade, and social care.

Government Criticizes Native Language Teaching
The governmental commission in charge of language development on 9 February criticized district administrations in the republic for failing to prevent a decline in the number of students studying Bashkir by providing sufficient textbooks, Bashinform reported.

Bashkir TV To Broadcast In Neighboring Regions
Bashkortostan TV company chief editor Shaura Gilmanova on 9 February said that within two years the republic will provide satellite broadcasting to Bashkirs outside the republic, Bashinform reported. At the time, she said, Bashkir programming will be continuous from morning until night.

Kursk Familes Receive Apartments
Maj.Gen. Vladimir Trofimov on 9 February said that the republic has provided apartments and other assistance to the families of Bashkortostan residents who died in the August 2000 Kursk disaster, Bashinform reported. He noted that this was the first time during his service that the state had done everything it had promised to those who had lost relatives in the military.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova