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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 12, 2001

12 April 2001
President Shaimiev Inaugurated
Russian presidential staff chief Aleksandr Voloshin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviuenko, Presidential Envoy Sergei Kirienko, senior officials from neighboring regions, the North Caucasus and Central Asia came to Kazan on 12 April to attend the inauguration of Tatarstan President Mintimir Shaimiev.

Kazan Aircraft Producers Find A Customer
The joint leasing venture of Russian Aeroflot and Sibir air companies will use the Kazan-produced Tu-214 aircraft, news agencies reported on 11 April. Kazan Aircraft Plant is currently working on increasing the flight distance of its new carrier from 7200 to 9500 kilometers to meet the requirement of Siberian flights and drive the Ulyanovsk-produced Tu-204 from the competition.

Opposition Movement Sues Tatarstan State Council
Tatarstan's Supreme Court heard a case brought by the Equality and Legality [RiZ] movement on 11 April. The movement claimed that the republic's smaller State Council "allowed its commissions to act on its behalf," in contravention of the law. It asked that the body be dissolved. According to Tatarstan's laws, 28 deputies of 130-seat parliament participate in State Council sessions, with the others joining only plenary sessions. State Council deputy Midkhat Kutrmanov who attended the hearings, said that the situation had arisen because "the majority of deputies do not want to be fulltime employees of the parliament."

Federal Agencies To Implement Putin's Program in Republic
Chief Federal Inspector in Tatarstan Marsel Galimardanov told a meeting of federal agency representatives in Kazan on 11 April that they must work to implement the ideas of President Vladimir Putin. He called on them to study the president's speech carefully and not to do "anything silly" as they worked to implement it.

Tatar Public Center Meeting to Back NTV
The Chally branch of the Tatar Public Center announced that it will hold a demonstration in support of NTV's journalists on 14 April.

New Center to Cut Red Tape For Businesses
President Mintimer Shaimiev attended the opening of United Registration Center for small businesses on 11 April in Kazan. The new body is intended to ease the formation of private enterprises and to centralize registration requirements.

Tatarstan Muslim Leader Leaves for Qatar
Mufti Gusman khazret Iskhaqi departed for Qatar on 12 April to seek assistance for the development of an Islamic University in Kazan.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

President Gives Student Computer for Heroism
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 10 April presented a personal computer to 12-year-old Rafiz Gizzatullin, a Qarmasqaly schoolboy who saved three children from a fire that claimed one life and injured 24 other people, reported.

Prime Minister Visits China...
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov is on a two-day visit to China's Lyaoning province to promote trade ties, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 11 April. China is the largest foreign investor in Bashkortostan with a 30 percent share of all foreign direct investment there. Bashinform reported on 10 April that Ufa and Beijing are participating in a $12 million timber processing and metallurgy project.

More Losses In Chechnya
Two militia employees, one dead and one seriously injured, have been returned to Bashkortostan from Chechnya, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir service reported on 11 April. Unofficial sources said that there had been additional losses as well.

Opposition Files Suit on Election Procedures
Bashkortostan Tatar Public Center chairman Airat Giniatullin told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir service that several opposition leaders have filed suit with the republic Supreme Court against the republic practice of appointing rather than electing local officials.

Government Adopts Social Program
The cabinet on 10 April announced that it had allocated 3.9 billion rubles ($130 million) for the republic's most needy residents. It also announced that it will sell 11 to 65 percent of its shares in 16 republic companies.

Azerbaijan To Host Bashkir Culture Days
Ufa announced on 11 April that it will organize Bashkortostan Culture Days in Baku later this year.

...And Seeks More Efficient Agriculture at Home
Before leaving for China, Baidavletov on 10 April criticized the agricultural sector for poor results, saying it is "one of the most sickly spots" in the republic's economy, Bashinform reported. He said that he plans to cut subsidies to the sector until it improves its performance.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova