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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 25, 2001

25 June 2001
Tatarstan to Begin Harmonization of Constitution In September
President Mintimer Shaimiev and Speaker Farid Mukhametshin agreed at a meeting with deputy presidential administration head Dmitry Kozak on 22 June that the Tatarstan parliament in September will hold the first reading on amendments to the Tatarstan Constitution to harmonize it with the Russian basic law, RIA-novosti reported.

Khakimov Says Power Sharing Treaty Must Be Preserved
Rafail Khakimov, a state adviser to Tatarstan president, said on 22 June that the Tatarstan State Council is unlikely to be dismissed for its refusal to harmonize the republic Constitution within six months as it had been prescribed by the Russian Constitution Court, reported. He said the power sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia had suited both Moscow and Kazan so �we must hold on to it with all our heart because it is a ground for the future federative Russia.�

Ansat To Be Equipped With Canadian Engines
Pratt&Wittney Canada and the Kazan Helicopter Plant signed an agreement on the delivery of 20 engines for Ansat helicopters, �Vremya i dengi� reported on 22 June.

Tatneft Increases Capital
Tatneft shareholders annual meeting on 22 June agreed to increase the company�s capital tenfold to 2.3 billion rubles, Tatarstan television reported.

Violations Of Women�s Rights Monitored In Tatarstan
The Tatarstan human rights committee�s commission on women, youth and young families� rights is monitoring violations of women�s rights, reported on 22 June. The action is a contribution to the project on �Women�s rights in Russian national republics� promoted by the U.S. Global Fund.

Municipal Services Employees Demand Back Wages
More than 200 housing and communal services employees in the Kazan district began a strike to secure payment of back wages, Efir-inform reported on 22 June.

Altai Republic to Study Tatarstan�s Passport Procedures
The governmental commission of Altai Republic on introduction of national inserts in the new Russian passport at its first meeting decided to study experience of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan and to conduct a public opinion poll throughout the republic on the issue, �Altai Weekly Review� reported.

Mosques Open Children�s Camps
Seven mosques in Kazan have opened summer camps for children between 6 and 15 to teach them the Koran, the history of Islam and Muhammad�s life, Tatar-inform reported.

Picketers Want Drama Theater, Not Cathedral
Chally residents picketed the city administration to demand the construction of a drama theater and a library rather than an Orthodox Church, Tatar-Inform reported on 22 June.

Tatarstan � New Century�s Youth Wing Calls For Fighting Drug Use
The youth council of the Tatarstan � New Century movement on 22 June called for a campaign to fight drug use in the republic, Tatar-inform reported.

Republic Judges Unhappy About Legal Reform
Ilgiz Gilazov, the deputy chairman of the Tatarstan Supreme Court, sharply criticized the legal reform being promoted by federal authorities as �an encroachment upon judicial power as a whole.� He said that it aims to weaken the judicial power and to make it more dependent on the executive branch is is �very dangerous,� �Vostochny ekspress� reported on 22 June. Republic judges board chairman Magnavi Garaev said added that the reforms will lead to more guilty verdicts.

Nationalist Leader Says Sovereignty Is Over
Aidar Khalim, the leader of Milli Mejlis, said that republic sovereignty is at an end, �Vostochny ekspress� reported on 22 June. His comments came at a forum of Tatar national organizations. Rafail Khakimov, a state adviser to Tatarstan President, told that meeting that �there is a cause for concern because Moscow is putting pressure on the republic. But the Tatarstan authorities firmly stand on guard of sovereignty,� he added.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

European Charter Seminar Praises Bashkortostan
Participants in an international European Charter seminar in Ufa said in a resolution that the Charter's main principles have been carried out in Bashkortostan for many years, Bashinform reported on 22 June. They called on Moscow to spread Bashkortostan�s experience in the preservation and development of national languages and cultures to other regions. And they called for the Russian Duma to ratify the European Charter.

Federal Official Criticizes Diminution of Status of Russian Language...
Deputy Minister for Federation Affairs, National and Migration Policy Aleksei Tomtosov on 22 June said that national republics in their language legislation have tried to reduce status of the Russian language despite its status as the common state language, Bashinform reported.

...But Bashkir Official Praises Balance of Languages
Deputy Prime Minister Khalyaf Ishmuratov on 22 June said that all necessary conditions for preservation and development of languages and cultures of peoples living in the republic exist, Bashinform reported. He stressed that the republic had never been a place of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional conflicts and that all these achievements are possible due to the republic state sovereignty. He pointed out that President Murtaza Rakhimov urged education bodies to provide tri-lingualism of secondary schools students or good knowledge of a native language, Russian, and a foreign language. He said that six nations have their national schools and 14 languages are taught in the republic secondary schools. Some 63 percent of non-Russian students currently study their native languages.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova