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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 19, 2001

19 March 2001
Moscow, Kazan Agree on Passport Format
Parliament speaker Farid Mukhametshin on 16 March said that Moscow, Kazan and Ufa have agreed on the format of the insert pages for the new Russian Federation passport. He noted that it "took us three years to persuade Moscow to allow national republic citizens to write their names in their mother tongue." The four-page insert, which will be sewn into the basic document, will include republic symbols and information in national languages. Mukhametshin said that "we could not manage to solve the nationality issue," noting that republic citizens will be able to make such an entry on their birth certificates. The new passports will begin to be issued in about a month.

Moscow To Give Tatarstan 160 Billion During Four Years
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksei Kudrin on 17 March told ITAR-TASS that Moscow plans to allot 160 billion rubles ($5.5 billion) over the next six years for the social-economic development of Tatarstan. His comments came after his meeting with President Mintimer Shaimiev and Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov in Kazan.

Federal Treasury Board Opened In Tatarstan
Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin and Tatarstan Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on 17 March opened in Kazan a branch office of the Federal treasury board. Kudrin told ITAR-TASS that Tatarstan is the 89th of the federation subjects to have one opened on its territory.

Tatarstan - New Century Backs Shaimiev
The third congress of the republic movement Tatarstan - New Century announced its support for the reelection of incumbent President Mintimer Shaimiev, Tatar-inform reported. Parliament speaker Farid Mukhametshin, who heads the movement, said that the group backs Shaimiev because he supports its goals of promoting market reform, investment, and the development of high technology sectors.

KamAZ Seeks Remaining Part of Japanese Credit
KamAZ deputy general manager Ildar Khalikov on 15 March told AK&M that his company has met with representatives of the Japanese International Cooperation Bank to discuss terms for receiving the second half of a $150 million credit several Japanese banks extended to KamAZ in 1997 to purchase Japanese equipment.

Moscow to Support Kazan Millenium Celebrations
The Russian government will support over the next five years programs designed to help Kazan mark its millenium in 2005, reported on 16 March.

UN Permits Tatneft to Drill in Iraq
Tatneft deputy general manager Khamit Kaveev on 16 March said that the United Nations had approved the company's participation in drilling 33 wells in Iraq under the oil for food program, Tatar-inform reported. Tatneft is currently involved in drilling 45 other wells under Baghdad's contract with Zarubezhneft.

Tatarstan Defense Industry to Participate in Emirates Show
The Trade and Foreign Economic Relations Ministry on 16 March said that representatives of Tatarstan's four defense industry enterprises -- POZIS, the Lenin NPP, KamAZ, and the Kazan helicopter plant -- have gone to Abu Dhabi to participate in the fifth international weapons show IDEX-2001, Tatar-Inform reported.

Tatneft To Look for Oil In Chuvashia
The Chuvash cabinet signed an agreement with Tatneft allowing the latter to prospect for oil in the republic, Tatar-inform reported on 16 March. Tatneft is also developing a network of filling stations in Chuvashia and is participating in the reconstruction of Chuvash stations as well. In exchange, Tatneft will provide Chuvash agricultural enterprise with fuel and grant credits to passenger transport firms.

Kazan University Begins Preparations For Bicentennial
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 16 March said that the Kazan University will soon become as beautiful as the Kazan Kremlin in advance of its 200th anniversary celebration. Deputy Prime Minister Ilgiz Khairullin said the university will receive two billion rubles ($70 million) from Moscow under the terms of the Kazan millenium celebration grants.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkortostan Signs Agreement With Transnefteprodukt
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 16 March met with Transnefteprodukt head Sergei Maslov signed an agreement on the development of cooperation in processing, transport and sale of oil products in both domestic and foreign markets over the next five years.

Health Ministry Denies Licenses to Rural Medical Centers
Citing improper conditions and procedures, the republic health ministry on 16 March denied licenses to 51 rural medical centers.

Ufa Reduces Tax Burden on Business
The cabinet has cut the number of taxes and fees paid by businesses from 811 to 63, Bashinform reported on 16 March. Prosecutors will seek ensure that legislation is modified to support this change. This action, officials said, will also reduce the number of cases when local officials illegally collect duties from businesses.

Journalism Training Criticized
The Press and Media Ministry and the Bashkortostan Journalist Union jointly criticized journalist training at Bashkir State University, Bashinform reported. In a separate move, the Journalist Union plenum decided to hold its fifteenth congress on 30 November.

National Library To Get U.S. Information Center
An American section financed by the U.S. government is being set up in the Akhmet Zaki Validi National Library, Bashinform reported on 16 March. It includes a reading room with 1,000 books in English and an information center equipped with two computers and 500 compact discs.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova