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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 13, 2001

13 April 2001
Shaimiev Inaugurated...
President Mintimer Shaimiev took the oath of office for the third time on 12 April. Parliament Speaker Farid Mukhametshin praised him, saying, �everything positive the republic has reached during the past decade its people is tied to President Mintimer Shaimiev.� Shaimiev took the oath in both Tatar and Russia and then pledged that he will work to protect Tatarstan's sovereignty. In contrast to his two earlier inaugurals, Shaimiev appeared with both the Tatar and Russian flags. Numerous Moscow and regional officials attended the ceremony.

President Vladimir Putin sent a message to Shaimiev praising him for his authority among the Tatar people. Presidential administration head Aleksandr Voloshin praised the Tatarstan president for his contribution to the development of Russian federalism. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko said that Shaimiev deserved high marks for his �active efforts toward the implementation of President Putin�s course.� Messages of greetings also came from the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and from the ambassadors of Egypt, Iran, Poland, and Japan.

Opposition Unhappy with Elections Results
The opposition roundtable which unites Tatarstan�s communist party, Hope (Omet), Labor Russia, Consent (Soglasiye), and the Equality and Legality (RiZ) movements on 12 April picketed the inaugural ceremony saying that they do not recognize the results of the elections as legitimate, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported.

Shaimiev Accepts Government's Resignation
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 12 April accepted the resignation of the government but calling on it to continue in office until a new government can be formed on 11 May.

Moscow Provides Tatarstan with Disaster Assistance
The Russian cabinet has allocated 12.4 million rubles ($432,000) for Tatarstan to cover damage caused by a June 2000 storm, AK&M reported on 12 April.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Against Foreign Ownership of Media
State Secretary Faukat Kidrasov on 11 April said that President Murtaza Rakhimov has directed Duma deputies from Bashkortostan to draw up legislation that would make it impossible for foreigners to own media outlets in Russia. Rakhimov himself has proposed that federation subjects purchase 25 percent of the shares in NTV to prevent that network from falling under foreign control.

Harmonization Continues
The parliament on 12 April passed legislation on smoking restrictions and amended the local council law as well as rules on interpreting Bashkir legal arrangements. The deputies also proposed modifications to the federal law on foreign trade.

Bashneft Seeks To Stabilize Oil Extraction
Bashneft general manager Nur Saifullin on 12 April said that his company had pumped 11.9 million tons of oil in 2000, Bashinform reported. He added that the company had pumped 200,000 tons in West Siberia and that it was developing deposits in the Nenets AO. He said that Bashneft will concentrate on domestic production rather than seeking foreign fields.

Ufa Promotes Encyclopedia In Bashkir
Bashkir encyclopedia editor Minigul Valeeva on 12 April told Bashinform that his publication is "the fruit of sovereignty," noting that a Bashkir language edition of the original Russian is being prepared.

Fires Increase
The State fire prevention service on 12 April said that the number of fires in the republic has grown by 4.5 percent this year over last, Bashinform reported.

Purchasing Power Rises
The state statistics committee on 12 April said that the purchasing power of the population in 2001 had grown by 58 percent compared to the last year, Bashinform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova