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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 24, 2001

24 April 2001
Supreme Court Postpones Polling District Case�
Judge Gennady Baranov on 23 April suspended hearings on the suit filed by the RiZ movement against the present State Council of Tatarstan Republic for setting up electoral districts of different sizes, "Vechernaya Kazan" reported. RiZ leader Masgut Kahfizov told the daily that his group will also seek the dismissal of the regional court judges and some of the Supreme Court officials, because their candidacies were endorsed by the Russian president�s decree.

�Rejects Suit by Former Presidential Candidate
Tatarstan�s Supreme Court rejected the suit of former presidential candidate Sergey Shashurin against the republican Central Election Committee on 23 April. Shashurin had complained that his right to free airtime had been limited illegally.

SPS Urges Putin to Speed Up Harmonization Process
SPS leader Boris Nemtsov has sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin asking him to �order the necessary measures for restoring the legality in activities of State Council� on 29 April, Russian agencies reported.

Oil Industry Development Concept Announced
Tatarstan Republic has completed the drafting of oil and gas development concept for the next 15 years, Solid-info reported on 23 April.

Tatar, Chechen Officials Discuss Humanitarian Aid Thefts
Deputy PM Ravil Muratov met the administration head Akhmad Kadirov during his trip to Chechen Republic on 22 April to discuss the security of goods sent by Tatarstan to Chechnya in order to prevent more thefts, Tatar media reported the next day.

Kazan Mayor Criticizes Fundraising Effort
Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov on 23 April criticized his administration for imposing �unacceptable� obligatory payments on businessmen in order to raise the funds for city�s millennium celebrations in 2005. He said that setting "obligatory donations" at $1.4 billion was "insane."

TPC Member Arrested In Chally
The Chally interior ministry arrested Tatar Public Center member Fanis Shayhetdin on 23 April for distributing literature that �inspires inter-ethnic and inter-confessional hatred," Efir-Inform agency reported.

Qatar to Help Tatarstan Muslims
Moslem religious board chairman Gusman khazret Iskhak said on 23 April that Qatar officials had told him during his visit there that they would provide assistance to religious groups in Tatarstan.

Tuben Kama Constructors Seek Relief from Fines
Tuben Kama construction officials have asked Kazan and Ufa to drop fines against them for engaging in barter operations, "Vremya i Dengi" reported on 24 April. If that does not happen, they said, their firms will have to declare bankruptcy.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Alpha Oil, Bashneft Not Seen Helping Sakhalin
"Komsomolskaya Pravda" quoted Sakhalin's Duma Ivan Zhdakayev on 24 April as saying that he fears that most of the Alpha-Oil group investments in his area will lead to money going out of rather than into Sakhalin.

Independent Newspaper to Cover Bashkortostan's Tatars
Tatar Public Center branch leader in Bashkortostan Airat Giniatullin told RFE\RL in Ufa on 23 April that an independent Tatar newspaper is to be set up in the republic in order to provide unbiased coverage of political, ethnic issues.

Gasoline Prices Decline
The Bashkirnefteproduct gasoline monopoly announced that it has cut car fuel prices by some 10%, reported on 23 April. Currently the price of most popular Ai-93 gasoline is 7,7-7.9 rubles ($0,26) per liter.

Monitoring Set Up to Block Spread of Foot and Mouth Disease
In order to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease in Bashkortostan, the Bakali region administration formed a special commission and introduced special rules for operating the animal farms.

Bashprombank Revives
Bashprombank loan department chief Rim Samigullin told Bashinform on 23 April that his bank had managed to recover and has begun issuing credits to the production sector of republic's economy. The government serves as a guarantor of some 30% of the capital planned for issuing loans this year.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi