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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 24, 2001

24 May 2001
Moscow Seeks Further Centralization of Tax Collections
AK&M agency reported on 23 May that the Russian finance ministry wants to increase centralization in the collection of taxes from oil extracting regions. This measure is intended, the ministry said, "to reduce income inequality" among the regions.

Tatarstan Supreme Court Told to Review Constitution
The Russian Supreme Court upheld the suit brought by deputy general prosecutor Alexander Zvyagintsev who had appealed after the Tatarstan Supreme Court rejected his appeal seeking the legal abolishment of 42 articles in republic Constitution, "Vremya novostei" reported on 23 May. The republic Court had said it had not been directed top review the republic constitution. Now, it has been directed to do so and to harmonize that constitution with Russian legislation.

Klebanov Praises Kazan's Contribution to Russian Aviation Revival
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov told Duma deputies on 23 May that Kazan aircraft producers are making an important contribution to the revival of the country's aviation industry through the leasing of planes like the TU-214, Russian agencies reported.

KamAZ to Double Truck Sales to Iraq
KamAZ plans to export 800 trucks to Iraq in 2001, twice as many as it sold to Baghdad in 2000, reported.

Tatarstan to Have Its Own Teleradio Company
The New Century TV-radio Company intends to launch its broadcasts on 30 August, the anniversary of Tatarstan's declaration of sovereignty, Tatarinform reported on 23 May.

Tatarstan Living Costs Among Lowest in Russia
Tatarstan is one of the least expensive places to live in the Russian Federation, the republic's State Statistics Committee reported on 23 May.

Compiled by Iskander Nurmi

Ufa Rejects Moscow Criticism of Bashkir Constitution
The Bashkortostan Constitution Court on 23 May announced that objections raised by Russian prosecutors to the paragraphs of the Bashkortostan constitution concerning languages, citizenship, land use, and international relations are "unfounded." But the court has not yet issued its final report.

Rakhimov Meets Transneft, Gazprom Heads
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 23 May met with Transneft President Semen Vainshtok to discuss further cooperation of republic fuel-energy industry companies with Transneft and the use of pipelines in Bashkortostan, the presidential press service reported. The same day, Rakhimov received Gazprom deputy board chairman Viktor Ilyushin to discuss work of the gas giant's branches in the republic.

Energy Ministry Complains About New Excise Taxes
Russian Deputy Energetic Minister Valery Garipov on 23 May told petroleum producers that the introduction of a 580 ruble per ton excise on oil will hurt companies like Bashneft and Tatneft which work older fields where costs are higher.

Petroleum Groups Seek Tax Changes
Petroleum producers called for the "emergency" passage of amendments to the tax code to allow the producers to make a profit, Bashinform reported on 23 May. Vladimir Medvedev, the president of the Russian Oil and Gas Producers Union, said that the laws must allow for personnel shake-ups and also eliminate death taxes. Meanwhile, LUKoil Vice President Vitaly Lesnichny said that the oil tax being currently discussed in Duma would result in a one-quarter reduction of investment in his company and a decline in oil production.

Criminologists Meet in Ufa
Criminologists from across Russia gathered in Ufa for their biennial conference, "Komsomolskaya pravda v Bashkortostane" reported on 23 May.

Slavic Script Day Celebrated
The ethnographic museum of the republic celebrated Slavic Script Day on 24 May, Bashinform reported.

Bashkortostan's Ukrainians Assemble
The Ukrainians of the Ufa Demsk district and members of the republic national-cultural center "Kobzar" met on 24 May to discuss interethnic relations, Bashinform reported.

Tatars Seek Registration of National-Cultural Autonomy
A group of Tatar public figures from Bashkortostan's Dyurtile district met with the Volga Federal District prosecutorial officials to discuss human rights violations in the republic, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 23 May. They also discussed the registration of the Tatar's national cultural autonomy; officials said that the organization will be registered within three days.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova