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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 4, 2001

4 June 2001
UNESCO to Mark Kazan Days in Paris
UNESCO will hold a special Kazan Days festival in Paris 5-8 June, Tatar-inform reported. President Mintimir Shaimiev will be among those in attendance.

Tatarstan Deputy Says Draft Law on Russian People Could Destabilize Country
Razil Valeev, chairman of the State Council commission on science, education, culture, and national issues, told �Vostochny ekspress� on 1 June that the draft law on Russian people that has been discussed in Duma �could destabilize the more or less balanced situation in Russia.� Moreover, he said it contradicts the Russian Constitution and added that if it passes, all federation subjects will have to write analogous legislation.

Majority Support Tatarstan�s Special Status
�Vostochny ekspress� on 1 June reported that 58 percent of respondents questioned support the preservation of Tatarstan�s special status in Russia while 19 percent said they were against. The weekly reported that �the future of the whole Russia is likely to be solved now in Tatarstan, including whether Russia will be authoritarian or comfortable for followers of any religions, cultures, and strata.�

Tatar Organizations Unite to Defend Sovereignty
Several Tatar national organizations on 1 June agreed to set up a coordination council of public organizations aiming to defend republic�s sovereignty, Tatar-inform reported. The Tatar Public Center, the Idel-Ural association, the TPC Tuben Kama branch, Ittifaq, the Union of Tatar Youth Azatliq, the Magarif educational association, and the Executive Committee of the World Tatar Congress will join the new body. The participants decided to hold on 14 June a Public forum on defense of Tatarstan�s statehood. TPC deputy chairman Yunus Kamalutdinov said that not only national organizations but all of those who values Tatarstan�s sovereignty and statehood can become council members.

Tatar Youth Gather In Bolgar
The Tatar Youth Union Azatliq organized a forum of Tatar youth in Bolgar on 2-3 June, Tatar-inform reported. Representatives from national youth organizations from Tatarstan and the Volga district regions took part. Insaf Khamitov, head of the Azatliq Kazan branch, said that the event aims �to unite Tatar youth and to give young people an access to national culture and traditions.�

Security Council Concerned about KamAZ
The Security Council on 1 June discussed declines in production and sales and growing debts at KamAZ, Tatar-inform reported. Council secretary Vener Salimov said that the Council members and KamAZ heads �reached full understanding.� KamAZ general manager Ivan Kostin said that the situation at the company is �rather complex� and that managers have been sharply criticized by the Council.

Energy, Heating Prices Rise in Tatarstan
Energy prices increased in Tatarstan by 18 percent for residents, by 60 percent for budget organizations, and by 38 percent for enterprises as of 1 June, reported. Heating prices will become some 50 percent higher for residents and 20-30 percent � for budget and industrial enterprises. But despite these rises, republic prices remain lower than Russian average.

Tatarstan�s Foreign Debt Up, Internal Down
AK&M reported on 1 June that Tatarstan�s internal debt had fallen in April by 42 percent to 2.4 billion rubles ($83 million) while its external debt has grown by 177 percent to 581 million rubles ($20 million).

Moscow Refuses To Purchase Tatarstan�s Oil
Nizhny Novgorod telegraph agency reported on 1 June that the Moscow oil processing plant has broken its agreement with Tatneft on fuel delivery. Previously the Moscow plant had processed 20 percent of petrol Tatneft sold in the internal market. The agency said that Tatarstan�s oil company as a result will increase its deliveries to the Nizhny Novgorod oil processing plant.

POZIS Gains International Award
The Yeshel Uzen Sergo plant POZIS has been granted the international award �Earth-maker-XXI� for �stability of economic development in post-crisis economy� while the company general manager Radik Khasanov has been praised for his �will expressed at the post of chief,� Tatar-inform reported on 1 June.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Says Bashkortostan Presidential Elections A Long Way Off
�Otechestvo� which is issued by the Russian opposition organization Rus� wrote that Bashkortostan will elect soon a new president, RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported on 3 June. But President Murtaza Rakhimov told �Argumenty i fakty� that �elections are still a long way off, so I can advise some impatient officials not to rush removing portraits in their cabinets.� He said �if I will leave, it�s the multinational Bashkortostan�s people that will decide who will be the next president.�

Bashkortostan Now Fifth Largest Tax Donor Region
Tax Minister Gennady Bukanov on 1 June said that Bashkortostan this year is the fifth largest tax donor region, Bashinform reported.

Unprofitable Companies To Face Bankruptcy
Rashit Sattarov, the head of Bashkortostan�s Tax Board, on 1 June said that the republic government will initiate bankruptcy proceedings against unprofitable companies which now total 45 percent of all enterprises in the republic, Bashinform reported. He said that as a result, only 35,000 of the existing 58,000 will survive. As it is, some 13,000 enterprises exist only on paper.

Three Bashkortostan Higher Education Institutions Among Russia's Best
Three of Bashkortostan�s universities are now on the list of Russia�s 52 best higher educational institutions, �Argumenty i fakty� reported. The Bashkir Medical University, the Ufa Aviation Technical University, and the Bashkir University rank 13th, 26th, and 36th respectively.

Another Mosque Opens in Oktyabrsky
A new mosque has opened in Oktyabrsky, Bashinform reported on 1 June. Local oil, gas and building companies sponsored the construction.

Man Arrested for Selling False Identity Documents
RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported on 3 June that police there have detained a man who had been selling false certificates like those Bashkortostan had been issuing since 1998 in place of Russian passports. Official bodies had issued more than 300,000 similar certificates.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova