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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 15, 2001

15 June 2001
Foreign Ministry Discusses Activities of Tatarstan�s Missions Abroad
Timur Akulov, the director of the Tatarstan presidential foreign relations department and the state adviser to Tatarstan President on international issues, took part in a Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry collegium meeting devoted to international and foreign economic relations of federation subjects, reported on 14 June. Akulov delivered a report on �Tatarstan�s representations and their place in the system of international and foreign economic relations.�

Duma Deputies Want to Celebrate Victory Over Mongol-Tatars
Duma faction leaders Oleg Morozov (Russia�s Regions), Yevgeny Primakov (OVR), Vladimir Pekhtin (Unity), and Gennady Raikov (People�s Deputy) have proposed a draft law promoting the celebration of Russian victories over Mongol-Tatars in Kulikovo battle, over the Turks in Izmail, as well as over German knights on Chudskoe lake and over Sweden in Poltava, RIA-Novosti reported on 14 June.

Deputies Want to Amend Freedom of Conscience Law
The State Council's science, education, culture and national issues commission on 14 June discussed the preservation and development of TV broadcasting in the Tatar language and amendments to the law on freedom of conscience and religious associations, Tatarstan television reported. Commission chairman Razil Valeev said that �our law provides equal rights to followers of all religions unlike the federal law that openly gives more rights to Orthodox church.� Deputies decided to appeal to the Duma with a legislative initiative on amending the federal law on freedom of conscience.

Discussion of Opposition Bill on Parliamentary Reform Postponed
The State Council commission on state system on 14 June postponed discussion of the draft law on parliamentary reform proposed by opposition deputy Aleksandr Shtanin, Efir-inform reported. The proposed legislation requires that the Council be in permanent session, that it has 70 rather than 130 members, and that deputies must not work in executive bodies.

Tatarstan Mufti Visits Ingushetia
Tatarstan Mufti Gusman khazrat Iskhakov is taking part in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ingush Islamic leader Said khaji Batalov, Tatar-inform reported on 14 June.

Komi Tatars, Bashkirs Seek Return to Their Republics
A Tatarstan delegation visiting Komi Republic participated in a meeting of Tatar-Bashkir national-cultural autonomy (NCA) and national holiday Sabantui, Tatar-inform reported on 14 June. The NCA discussed the federal program on the move of retired people from Northern regions to the South. Participants said that major part of oil and gas sectors employees and miners in Komi are natives from Tatarstan and Bashkortostan and that they would like to return to their native places but not to Voronezh oblast where apartments have been built for them. They commented that this policy aims to disperse Tatars and reduce their number in places where they compactly live. The NCA called on presidents and officials of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to develop mechanism of performing this federal program. Komi Governor Yuri Spiridonov was in attendance at the Sabantui and visited the republic's first mosque that had opened a month earlier.

KamAZ Managers Board Adopts New Management Structure
The KamAZ managers board on 13 June in Moscow has approved changes in the concern�s management structure, Tatarstan television reported. The board chairman, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov called the issue �a problem past its prime.� The concern�s general manager now has eight deputies instead of six.

Khan's Palace Masonry Found in Kazan Kremlin
Archeologists conducting excavations in the Kazan Kremlin have discovered near the Governor Palace a sixteenth century masonry that is supposedly a part of the Khan Palace, Tatar-inform reported on 14 June. Rustem Zabirov, the chief architect of the Kremlin, said that the building will unlikely be restored.

Ak Bars Bank Hold Shareholders Meeting
Tatarstan�s leading Ak Bars Bank board chairman Mudaris Idrisov on 14 June told an annual shareholders meeting that the bank in 2000 has become the tenth largest in Russia by capitalization and that its profit has grown by 30 percent, Tatarstan television reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Official Comments On Rakhimov�s Presidency Anniversary
On the third anniversary of the Bashkortostan president's time in office, Constitutional Court chairman Ildus Adigamov praised efforts by President Murtaza Rakhimov on providing common legal space in Russia, �Respublika Bashkortostan� reported on 14 June. He said that there are no any legal contradictions between Ufa and Moscow and that the situation remains stable through consultations. He said that 75-80 percent of republic residents support Rakhimov�s activity.

Rakhimov Meets Magnitogorsk Metallurgy Plant Head�
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 14 June met with acting general manager of the Magnitogorsk group of metallurgy enterprises Andrei Morozov to discuss cooperation between the republic and the company, the presidential press service reported. The two also negotiated the construction of the Baimovo � Abzakovo pipeline and joint improvement of the territory near the border of Bashkortostan and Chelyabinsk oblast.

�And Presents State Awards
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 14 June granted over 50 employees of education, medicine, agriculture, industry, and communications with state awards, the presidential press service reported.

Cabinet Unhappy With Agricultural Sector
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 14 June sharply criticized agricultural manufacturers for inefficiency saying that the state �invests a lot of money in the sector but sees no results.�

Cabinet to Support Printing Industry
The Press and Mass Information Ministry said on 14 June that 13 of republic 80 state-owned printing plants will be provided with state budget funds for new equipment, Bashinform reported. More than 90 percent of this equipment is worn-out, the ministry said.

Local Authorities Not Supportive of Satellite TV
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 14 June said that the presidential decree promoting satellite television is not being supported by some district administrations, Bashinform reported. He said that �the business must not be dragged out� and by the end of 2002, the satellite TV must be launched.

Chief Ophthalmologist Calls on State to Promote Health
Aleksandr Yuzhakov, the head of the Moscow Gelmgolts eye diseases research institute, told an Ufa ophthalmologic conference on 14 June that 50 percent of the Russian population has vision problems and that a half a million people have eye problems each year. If this trend continues, he said, in 10-15 years, most of the population will be blind.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova