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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 5, 2001

5 April 2001
Tatar Journalists Back NTV
The presidium of the Tatarstan Journalists Union on 4 April announced its support for NTV journalists and sent them a cable saying "Do not surrender! The whole country stands behind you," Tatar-inform reported. Union chairman Rimma Ratnikova said that politics rather than finances were behind the changes and that President Putin, if he really cares about freedom of speech, "must become angry and put things in order."

Duma Deputies React to Putin's Speech
Farida Gainullina (Fatherland-All Russia) on 4 April told "Vremya i dengi� that President Vladimir Putin had provided a diagnosis but failed to provide a cure. Ivan Grachev criticized Putin's "superficial� statements about privatization, pension reform, and the federal budget. Fandas Safiullin (Regions of Russia expressed his dissatisfaction that the president had failed to outline his nationality policy. And Aleksandr Salii (KPRF) said that he was "disappointed" because Putin's program points to a worsening of people's lives.

Cabinet to Support Small Business�
The government on 4 April announced its plan to support small and medium businesses, Tatar-inform reported. It intends to simplify registration and reporting requirements and provide additional credits.

�But Denies Rumors about TatAES Revival
The press service of the cabinet on 3 April denied earlier media reports that plans were in preparation to revive construction of the TatAES nuclear power station in Kama Alany, "Vremya i dengi" reported. Deputy Economics and Industry Minister Farid Tuktarov said that Moscow rather than Kazan would have to make such a decision.

Interior Ministry Sends Employees, Humanitarian Aid to Chechnya
A group of 415 Tatarstan militiamen on 4 April left for Gudermes where they will serve three months, RIA-Novosti reported. The interior ministry also dispatched with them 300,000 rubles ($10,000) worth of medicines and medical devices.

Prosecutor Wants to Combat Draft Evasion
Tatarstan Prosecutor Kafil Amirov on 4 April called on republic law enforcement agencies to crackdown on draft evaders, Tatar-inform reported. In the current round of the draft, some 1799 young men have failed to report, one of the highest rates of evasion in the Volga Federal District.

Udmurt TPC Marks 10th Anniversary
The Tatar Public Center in Udmurtia celebrated its 10th anniversary, Tatar-inform reported on 4 April. Udmurtia President Aleksandr Volkov and speaker Igor Semenov, representatives from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Moscow attended the ceremony.

Tatar School in Moscow Promised More Space
The Moscow city government announced on 4 April that it will finish construction of additional space at School 1186 where students study Tatar language and culture, Tatar-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Officials Focus on Flooding
Ufa Mayor Raif Nugumanov told said on 4 April that the current situation in which 23,000 city residents are threatened by flooding will be "a serious test" for his government. Other local officials announced that they were taking measures to counter the floods. Meanwhile, Russian deputy presidential envoy to Volga administrative district Vladimir Zorin is due to arrive on 5 April to work with the republic anti-flood commission, Bashkir press reported.

Ufa to Begin Subway Construction
Ufa mayor Raif Nugumanov told agency on 4 April that his city plans to build its own subway. The federal government is to pay 20 percent of the 6.5 billion ($224 million) cost of the first stage when excavation begins in 2003.

Ufa to Speed Up Polyef Chemical Plant Construction
Prime Minister Rafael Baydalvetov said on 4 April that the construction of the Polyef Chemical Plant must be accelerated because only 28 percent of planned construction has been completed at the Blagoveshchensk plant over the last five years.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi