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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 16, 2001

16 March 2001
Shaimiev Says Khatami Visit a Breakthrough for Ties
After the departure of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, President Mintimer Shaimiev on 15 March said that their meeting represented a breakthrough to expanded ties. He said that Khatami is "a person with liberal views, something that is not a simple thing in an Islamic country." And he said that he looked forward to closer ties between Kazan and Tehran.

Seleznev Backs Shaimiev's Reelection
Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev said that he supports Mintimir Shaimiev's reelection as Tatarstan President and that his movement Rossiya will support him in the future, "Vecherniye Chelny" reported on 15 March. He said that Shaimiev had achieved significant success in protecting the interests of Tatarstan�s residents and in balancing Tatarstan's national interests with Russia's federal ones.

Shaimiev Calls for Improving Business Climate
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 15 March said that he views the creation of an attractive business climate as his most important immediate task. He made his comments at a meeting of the Kazan city council. Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov said the production had increased in the city but that the administration still received many complaints from businessmen and ordinary people.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

New Appointments in Agricultural Sector
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 15 March named Shamil Vakhitov, 47, as a deputy prime minister and chairman of the state land resources committee. Since 1997, Vakhitov has been chairing this committee and from 1995 till 1997 had already served as deputy Prime Minister. Rakhimov also appointed Grigory Gorobets, 48, as agriculture minister. Gorobets over the last two years had been a deputy administration head of Birsk and the Birsk district in charge of agriculture.

Legislature Meets
The State Assembly on 15 March passed in the second reading draft laws on non-state education and on municipal formation head status, Bashinform reported. Deputies also agreed to proceed with discussions on the second reading the draft law on the prevention and restriction of smoking and also amendments to the law on registration of urban councils charters.

Bashkortostan Schools to Become UNESCO Association Members
Four republic secondary education institutions are preparing to join the association of the UNESCO schools, Bashinform reported on 15 March. The project aims to acquaint students with the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the earth.

Red Book of Rare Animals to Be Re-Published
The third edition of the Bashkortostan Red Book is ready for publication, Bashinform reported on 15 March.

Subsidies For Municipal Services to Be Cut
Municipal services minister Pavel Kachkaev on 15 March said that the number of applicants for subsidies of municipal services had grown from 0.3 percent of the population in 1997 to 14 percent in 2000 and in some locations amounts to 40 percent. He said that in the future only those applicants who are paying more than 19 percent of their incomes on such services will be given subsidies.

Christian Tatars To Hold Congress
Bashkortostan's Christian Tatars are preparing to hold a congress of their republic national cultural center to elect delegates to the Russian Christian Tatars union, Bashinform reported on 15 March. Delegations from Udmurtia, Tatarstan, and Chelyabinsk oblast will also take part.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova