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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 14, 2001

14 February 2001
Kremlin Unlikely to Support Shaimiev on Power Sharing
According to "Kommersant-Daily" on 13 February, President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin staff are unlikely to support the draft federal power-sharing agreement prepared for the State Council by Tatarstan President Mintimir Shaimiev.

Mukhametshin Says Power Sharing Working Well
State Council speaker Farit Mukhametshin told "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" in the interview to be published on 15 February that the power-sharing treaty signed between Moscow and Kazan 7 years ago was "actually operating and strengthening the power vertical and federative relations." He said he saw no reasons for revising the accord and argued that it would "remain relevant" for a long time to come. (The text of the interview was published on 13 February by Tatarinform.)

World Tatar Congress Worried About Rights
The executive members meeting of the World Congress of Tatars on 13 February issued a statement expressing "concern" about attempts to limit the linguistic and cultural rights of Tatars. The group also condemned attempts to "discredit" the federal system in Russia and it urged that presidential candidates should know both languages and that Tatars living outside of Tatarstan should have the right to shift to the Latin script.

Kazan Aircraft Plant Workers Protest in Moscow
Members of Tatarstan's air industry trade union picketed the federal government building in Moscow on 13 February, RBC reported, to denounce plans by Aeroflot to purchase 50 French-produced A-320 airbuses.

Shaimiev Discusses Environmental Problems
During a 13 February government session, President Mintimir Shaimiev called on industrial producers to deal with environmental issues more seriously than they have up to now, and he called for developing a network of industrial waste recycling facilities across the republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Prosecutors To Monitor Civil Rights Situation
Bashkortostan's prosecutors met on 13 February to discuss how to protect individual rights and freedoms and pledged to step up their monitoring of the human rights situation in Bashkortostan, RFE/RL's UFA correspondent reported. Acting chief prosecutor Florid Baykov noted in his remarks that "unfortunately investigative agencies had conducted a number of unjustified arrests and apartment searches in 2000."

Ufa to Submit Draft Passport Pages to Moscow
An Interior Ministry official told that a Bashkir governmental commission on 14 February will present to Moscow its version of inlay pages for new Russian passports. The four additional pages being proposed will contain republic symbolism and a translation of the formal passport notes into Bashkir. The official did not say whether the insert would include a reference to the passport bearer's nationality, as Ufa has demanded in the past.

More Private Businesses Open
The State Statistics Committee on 13 February said that the number of private businesses in Bashkortostan had increased to 14,000 in 2000, but it added that these firms still employ only five percent of the working age population there.

Ufa Acquries Stake in Failed Commercial Bank
The Bashkir Arbitration Court on 13 February endorsed a debt restructing agreement between the Bashprombank and its creditors because Ufa has agreed to purchase a 225 million ruble ($8 million) stake in the company, Bashinform reported.

More Students in Bashkortostan's Higher Schools
The number of students enrolled in tertiary level educational establishments in Bashkortostan rose to 170,800 in 2000, the state science committee reported on 13 February.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi