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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 21, 2001

21 May 2001
Mukhametshin Criticizes Budget Federalism Program.
Speaker Farid Mukhametshin said that the draft program for developing budget federalism in Russia designed till 2005 completely ignores principles of federalism, �Respublica Tatarstan� reported on 19 May. He said that the program aims at the �destruction of strong regions� as it brings to the �equality in poverty� and that it is �dangerous for the future of federalism in Russia.� He added that norms proposed in the document could destroy all positive achievements in the construction of federative relations in Russia over the last years.

Galimardanov Meets Media Heads.
Chief federal inspector in Tatarstan Marsel Galimardanov on 18 May met with chief editors of republic media to inform them about main tasks President Vladimir Putin set out at his 12 May meeting with the envoys, reported. Galimardanov said that removing the threat of Russia�s disintegration and power reform are the main achievements of the past year. And he named further harmonization of the local legislation, optimization of federal bodies in the republic, improvement of inter-budget relations, and housing-municipal reform among tasks of his priority attention.

Shaimiev Congratulates Media Workers On Press Day.
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 18 May greeted journalists and printers on their holiday saying that the development of freedom of speech provided by the Tatarstan Constitution is a significant achievement and that in the future, the state will continue protecting freedom of speech.

Tatarstan Officials Seek Cooperation With ASEAN Countries.
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met with ASEAN ambassadors on 18 May and urged them to invest and even "become owners" of Tatarstan's enterprises. Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Khafiz Salikhov called �unsatisfactory� the republic trade turnover with ASEAN countries which totaled in 2000 1 percent of the republic's foreign trade, Tatar-inform reported.

Russian, Belarussian Device Manufacturers Join Efforts.
The Aircosmos equipment corporation, the Belarus Economics Ministry, the Tatarstan Economics and Industry Ministry, and the St. Petersburg administration economics and industrial policy committee on 18 May in Kazan signed a cooperation agreement calling for the production of electronic systems for automobiles, Tatar-inform reported.

Iraq To Purchase 400 KamAZ Trucks.
Efir-inform reported that a $22 million agreement on the delivery of 400 KamAZ and 35,000 tires to Iraq was signed during a visit of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Khafiz Salikhov to Baghdad. The document also provides participation of Tatenergo experts in restoration of the Iraqi energy system and the opening Tatarstan�s trade representation in Baghdad.

Tatarstan, Hermitage To Boost Cooperation.
The State Hermitage, the Tatarstan Culture Ministry, and the History Institute of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences signed a cooperation protocol on 18 May, �Muzei Rossii� reported.

Regionalization To Be Discussed.
A seminar devoted to the discussion of the report �On the Threshold of Russia�s New Regionalization� by the Volga Federal District Strategic Research Center will be held on 21 May at the initiative of political researcher, Kazan University political science department head Midkhat Farukshin, Tatar-inform reported.

Volga District Speakers Form Council.
Speakers of the Volda Federal District territorial entities on 18 May set up a coordination council in Ufa, Bashinform reported. The council will help develop the concept of reforming federal and regional legislation concerning issues of joint powers. Participants agreed that each will head the body for six months in turn and elected Nizhny Novgorod Legislative Assembly chairman Anatoly Kozeradsky as the council�s first leader. Presidential Envoy to the district Sergei Kirienko said that council head will meet with the Russian President every three months.

Ufa Presents New Russian Passports.
Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District Sergei Kirienko and President Murtaza Rakhimov on 18 May presented new Russian passports to 35 Ufa school graduates, Bashinform reported. Kirienko said that the event was �the result of political wisdom expressed by all sides.� He said it is �absolutely correct that a person must be able to receive a passport with a state emblem of his republic and entries in national language. That in no way destroys integrity of Russia,� he added.

Tolkachev Says Constitutional Court Violates Law Itself.
Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev on 18 May said that the Russian Constitutional Court has taken a �strange� position having expressed its doubt in the republics� status, their sovereignty, and power sharing treaties and giving incorrect explanations about relations between the federation and its subjects, Bashinform reported. He said that the court itself was violating its own law by reaching decisions without the participation of all the parties involved.

Bashkortostan, India To Boost Scientific Cooperation.
The Bashkortostan State Science and Education Committee and the Indian Science and Technologies Ministry on 18 May signed a memorandum on mutual cooperation, Bashinform reported.

Advertisements, Documents to Be in Both Languages.
Local administrations have developed plans to implement republic language legislation by requiring street advertisements and office work in regulatory bodies to be conducted in both languages by the end of 2001.

Official Says Russian Population May Disappear.
The head of the republic anti-AIDS center Shamil Gabbasov said on 18 May that Russia will disappear as an ethnic state by 2050 as a result of falling birth rates and rising drug addiction and HIV among the young, Bashinform reported.

Ufa Provides Media In Six Languages.
Bashkortostan printers association head Rinat Shakurov said on 18 May that 560 editions per thousand of the population are issued now in the republic or one copy per two residents, Bashinform reported. They appear in six languages � Bashkir, Russian, Tatar, Chuvash, Udmurt, and Marii.

By Gulnara Khasanova