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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 3, 2001

3 May 2001
Tatarstan Companies Take Part in Rio Exhibit
Acting Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Kogogin met with defense ministers of Argentina, Brasilia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Uruguay while in Rio de Janeiro for the defense technologies exhibit there, Tatar-inform reported on 2 May. Accompanying him were representatives of Tatarstan defense companies.

China To Equip Kazan Telephone Stations
Akhmat Fakhriev, Kazan Telephone Network general manager, said that his company and the Chinese Huawei International have signed a contract for the delivery of $1 million worth of telephone switching equipment, AK&M reported on 2 May.

Dairy Prices to be Set by Market
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 2 May told media that the cabinet will from now on allow the market to set dairy product prices, Tatarstan Radio reported.

Tatarstan, Bashkortostan Energy Systems Coordinate Activities
Tatenergo deputy general manager Fanis Nafikov on 2 May said that his company and Bashkirenergo have signed agreements on the coordination of their activity and production, Tatar-inform reported.

Kazan Telephone Network Pays Higher Dividends
The Kazan Telephone Network on 2 May said that its dividends this year will be twice those of a year ago, reflecting its success in adding 14,000 new subscribers.

Communists, Trade Unions Hold May Day Meetings
Both the trade unions and the local branch of the Russian Communist Party held May Day meetings in Kazan to denounce the government for high prices, low wages, and state control of the media, Tatar-inform reported on 2 May. Some speakers also criticized Moscow's approach in Chechnya.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Fatherland Branch Official Positive on Fatherland-Unity Merger...
Rustem Akhmadiev, the deputy chairman of Fatherland party branch in Bashkortostan, told RFE\RL in Ufa on 2 May that the merger of Fatherland and Unity parties, "which had much in common," is a good thing. He said both seek to revive a strong Russian state.

...As is Unity Leader
Salavat Kusimov, Unity Party's political council chairman in Bashkortostan, said in an interview published in the "Yashlek" weekly on 2 May that the merger of the two groups was "essential for pursuing the economic and political reforms together because we have to be more realistic".

Refakh Still Hopes for Registration
Zakir Khakimov, the leader of the Muslim Refakh Party, told RFE/RL on 2 May that he hopes his suit against the Bashkortostan justice ministry will force Ufa to register it. He also noted that Refakh is joining the Eurasia movement.

Cultural Autonomy Seen Helping Resolve Ethnic Problems
Professor Sufian Safanov, who holds the Tatar philology chair at the Bashkir State Pedagogical University, told RFE/RL on 2 May that ethnic-cultural autonomy groups should be upgraded to help resolve the country's ethnic problems. He called for Bashkortostan to register Tatar public organizations in the republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi