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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 6, 2001

6 March 2001
Nuclear Power Plant Construction to Resume?
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov told the meeting of Tuben Kama City Council on 3 March that construction of nuclear power plant will be resumed in Kamsky Polyani, Efir TV reported. The Soviet government began construction of Tatar Nuclear Power Plant in the mid 1980s, but it delayed the project when a geologic fault was found beneath the plant site. Tatar Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources Nikolay Boroznov said the same day that "before the construction resumes, the project must pass an ecological expertise."

Tatneft Seeks More Investments
Tatneft intends to expand its working capital by 1000 percent through the offerings on the Russian stock market, the company said on 5 March. Such an increase will allow Tatneft to issue more bonds and thereby expand still further.

Candidates Make Property Declarations
Tatarstan's Central Election Committee reported on 3 March that incumbent President Mintimer Shaimiev is the only presidential candidate who does not own a car. His monthly salary is $1200. Communist candidate Robert Sadikov has the smallest apartment among the candidates, the CEC said. And Duma representative Sergei Shashurin owns the most property, including a self-declared "palace" in Yalta and a mansion of 800 square meters in Kazan.

Kurban Bayram Marked
Tatarstan's Muslims celebrated the holiday of Kurban Bayram on 5 March with traditional lunches for the poor at local mosques. March 5 was a day off, as will be three more days beginning on March 8, International Woman's Day.

Chally Struggles with Teen Alcoholism
Chally City Council deputies discussed the critical situation with respect to teenage alcoholism on 5 March, reported. The Council plans to ban the sales of light alcohol drinks to teenagers, although it is not formally allowed to do so by existing law. According to local statistics, one child in four under the age of 12 has tried alcohol at least once.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Greets Muslims on Kurban Bayram
President Murtaza Rakhimov told the Muslims of Bashkortostan on Kurban Bayram that there was growing "inter-confessional tolerance and peace" in the republic. And he wished them and the entire country growing prosperity.

Government Eases Cost Shift to Consumers
Pavel Kachkayev, the republic construction and housing minister, told AROMI on 5 March that the republic's citizens currently pay 62 percent of the costs of communal services and cannot easily afford to pay more. He said that his ministry would work to gradually shift costs to consumers through 2003.

Bashkir Rock Star to Sing on ORT
Russian ORT TV announced that Bashkir rock star Zemfira would be a featured soloist during the celebration of International Woman's Day on 8 March.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi