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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 18, 2001

18 May 2001
Shaimiev Becomes an Academician.
The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences on 16 May elected President Mintimer Shaimiev a Full Member of its Geopolitics and Security Department, Tatar-inform reported.

Minnikhanov Receives ASEAN Ambassadors.
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met ASEAN ambassadors to discuss cooperation prospects in oil extraction technologies, Tatar-inform reported on 17 May.

Will Altynbaev Become Deputy Federation Council Chairman?
"Zvezda Povolzhya" on 17 May reported rumors that Rafgat Altynbaev, the newly appointed Tatarstan representative to the Federation Council, may be named a deputy chairman of the Federation Council in charge of regional policy.

Moscow's Policies Seen Leading to New Collapse.
State Council presidium member Marat Galeev on 17 May told "Zvezda Povolzhya" that Moscow's recent statements in support of unitarism threaten Russia with a new collapse, this time in the economic sphere.

Republican Party Leaves Tatarstan-New Century For Seleznev's Russia.
Mukhammat Sabirov, the leader of Tatarstan Republican Party, has announced that his party has withdrawn from the Tatarstan-New Cetury movement headed by speaker Farid Mukhametshin and joined the Russia movement led by Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev, "Zvezda Povolzhya" reported on 17 May. Sabirov said his party had been deceived during the 1999 parliamentary elections.

Possible Tatar Nuclear Power Station Sparks Protests.
"Zvezda Povolzhya" on 17 May published an appeal by Tatarstan's Anti-nuclear Society criticizing Tatar officials for promoting the construction of a Tatar Nuclear Power Station. The appeal says that such a station could lead to a Chernobyl-type disaster and the annihilation of the Tatar culture and people.

Duma to Investigate Kazan Per-Minute Telephone Charges.
The roundtable of Tatarstan s opposition parties announced that it has received notification from the legislature's leadership that hearings will be held on 23 May concerning the introduction of per-minute telephone charges.

Exports Exceed Imports in First Quarter.
Tatarstan exported $413 million worth of goods during the first quarter of 2001, while importing only $142 million, officials said. Oil revenues have dropped from 55.9 percent of export earnings to only 34.3 percent, they added.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Indian Air Force Wants to Buy Engines from Ufa.
Indian State Minister of Science and Technologies Bachi Singkh Ravat met with President Murtaza Rakhimov to discuss the delivery of Ufa-produced engines for the Indian air force's MIG pursuit planes, ITAR-TASS reported on 17 May.

Rangers Study Bashkortostan's Nature Reserves.
A delegation of the International Rangers Federation is visiting Bashkortostan to discuss prospects for the World Wildlife Fund's project to create four new national parks there, Bashinform reported on 17 May.

Bashkortostan Delegation Visits Czech Republic.
Deputy Prime Minsiter and Foreign Relations and Trade Minister Rafil Garifullin are in Prague to promote cooperation and economic ties, reported on 16 May.

State Assembly Continues Harmonization.
The parliament on 17 May both continued its harmonization of legislation and passed new laws on municipality heads as well as a variety of house-cleaning amendments, the presidential press service reported.

Kirienko to Present New Passports.
Presidential Envoy Sergei Kirienko will come to Ufa on 18 May to meet with officials and to present new passports to school graduates, Interfax-Eurasia reported on 18 May.

By Gulnara Khasanova