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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 15, 2001

15 May 2001
Shaimiev Says Federal Districts Only a 'Temporary Necessity.'
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 14 May told RIA-Novosti that setting up of federal districts was a temporarily necessity to strengthen state power. But he expressed concern that as a result �federal bodies at local levels began multiply very quickly.� Shaimiev said that President Vladimir Putin has appointed high-qualified people as his envoys but that their powers remain unclear.

Tatarstan Aviation Companies Now in Different Holdings.
Kazan's Gorbunov aviation company and the Kazan helicopter plant will join two different aviation holdings to be set up by the Russian government by 2004, Tatar-inform reported on 14 May.

Abolition of Republic KGB Doesn't Mean It Will Close.
Ilgiz Minnullin, Tatarstan KGB first deputy chairman, told Tatar-inform on 14 May that the legislature's abolition of the republic KGB on 11 May does not meant that it will be closed. Instead, it will now be called the FSB board in Tatarstan and perform the same functions. And he said that it will continue to work with the republic cabinet and not just report to Moscow.

TWC Leader Unhappy With Federal Law On National Policy.
Indus Tagirov, the chairman of the Tatar World Congress Executive Committee, told Tatar-inform on 11 May that his committee together with the Tatarstan parliament have discussed the draft concept of the law on national policy of the Russian Federation and sent to the Duma some 40 amendments to the document. He said that the original Moscow project does not provide real equality for the country's peoples and their languages as it contains only paragraphs about Russian people and Russian language.

TPC Wants Tatar Not Just Russian Sites Restored.
Yunus Kamalutdinov, the acting chairman of the Tatar Public Center, said on 14 May that restoration work on the Sviyzhsk fortress build by Ivan the Terrible as a jumpoing off point for Kazan must also focus on the large Tatar village there -- Amirovo -- and recreate it as well, Tatar-inform reported.

Kazan Hosts Russian-Wide Jewish Culture Festival.
The first Russia-wide festival of Jewish culture opened in Kazan on 13 May, RIA-Novosti reported.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Kirienko Praises Rakhimov, Shaimiev on Passport Compromise.
Sergei Kirienko, the presidential plenipotentiary envoy in the Volga Federal District, told the Mayak on 14 May that delay in introduction of new Russian passports in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan had generated many complaints. But he praised the Bashkortostan and Tatarstan presidents for the fact that �this work has been completed in such a constructive way.�

Sabantui Preparations Start.
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 14 May signed a decree on the celebration of national holiday Sabantui in 2001, Bashinform reported.

Republic Media Increasingly Profitable.
Deputy Prime Minister Khalyaf Ishmuratov on 14 May said that republic mass media have grown and become increasingly profitable over the last year, Bashinform reported. But he criticized youth publications for losing subscribers. The same day Press and Mass Information Minister Zufar Timerbulatov said he plans to reform his ministry and eliminate subsidies to the media.

Udmurtia�s Bashkirs Join Bashkir World Congress.
The second Bashkir congress has been held in Udmurtia where some 10,000 Bashkirs live, Bashinform reported on 14 May. The meeting decided to transform Udmurtia's Bashkir soviety "Salavat" into the Udmurt branch of the Bashkirt World Congress. Participants also decided to issue a monthly bulletin "Aqbuzat" in Bashkir.

By Gulnara Khasanova