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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 28, 2001

28 June 2001
Kremlin Moves to Make Regions, Republics Equal
President Vladimir Putin has set up a presidential commission on power sharing between Moscow and the federal subjects and named deputy presidential administration head Dmitry Kozak its chairman, �Nezavisimaya gazeta� reported on 27 June. The daily wrote that the body which includes 22 members, among them Kremlin lawyers, governmental officials, governors, and local self-government heads, is intended to equalize rights of all federation subjects and to restrict as much as possible relations based on power-sharing treaties. Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev had been responsible for the promotion of power sharing, and he is a member of this commission. He had developed a concept on the issue, but the Russian State Council had postponed its discussion. And it was Kozak who negatively valued then Shaimiev�s proposals saying that they �will destroy integrity of legal system in the country and its united legal and economic space and will bring to separatism even in now calm federation subjects.� The daily commented that the Kremlin will likely be unable to cancel power-sharing treaties. Meanwhile, �Vedomosti� on 27 June cited unnamed experts as saying that despite this meeting, "Tatarstan and Bashkortostan will nonetheless keep their privileges."

Kazan Plans to Reorganize Government Structures
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 27 June held a closed-door governmental meeting to discuss reorganizing the structure of state bodies, Tatarstan radio reported.

Shaimiev Restates Opposition to Imports of Spent Nuclear Fuel
Shaimiev on 27 June told Interfax that he does not support the import of spent nuclear fuel to Russia and added that the Federation Council must consider that law.

Parliamentary Official Concerned About New Passports
Razil Valeev, the head of the State Council science, education and national issues commission, told a commission meeting on 27 June that introduction of two variants of the new Russian passports in Tatarsan � those with insert pages in Tatar language and those without them � is �a very dangerous policy that can divide the republic population into two parts.�

WTC Leader Sees Obstructions to Latinization
Rimzil Valeev, the deputy chairman of the World Tatar Congress (WTC) executive committee, said on 27 June that unnamed people are frustrating the introduction of the Latin script in schools, as the Tatar primer in Latin script still has not been published.

Court to Hear Suit By Luzhkov Against ORT, Shashurin
Moscow's Ostankino court set 28 June for the hearing of the suit by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov against ORT and Duma deputy Sergei Shashurin, RIA-novosti reported.

Krasnoyarsk Tatars Hold Sabantui
The Krasnoyarsk krai Tatar national-cultural autonomy Yangarysh supported by krai and city administrations plans to hold on 30 June Tatar-Bashkir holiday Sabantui, �Ekspress� agency reported on 27 June. Some 50,000 Tatars currently reside in the krai.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Anniversary of Official Status for Bashkir Language Marked
On 27 June Bashkortostan marked the 80th anniversary of the Bashkir language gaining official status in the republic. In 1921 Bashkir Communist Party Committee issued a resolution acknowledging Bashkir as a state language having equal rights with Russian. The first Constitution of Bashkortostan Republic adopted in 1925 said that Bashkirs could enjoy the right to use their native language in official procedures and education. Further variants of republic's constitution adopted in 1937 and 1978, however, ended the language�s official status. Moreover, after the collapse of Soviet Union, Bashkortostan's fundamental law adopted in 1993 didn�t give state status to Bashkir language. But the Bashkortostan peoples� languages act adopted in February 1999 declared both Russian and Bashkir languages to have official status.

Presidential Public Council Positive About Bashkortostan's Achievements
President Murtaza Rakhimov�s public council said in its public statement on 26 June that Bashkortostan �had resumed increasing its economic potential, inspiring the positive change in all spheres of life, followed by the growing understanding between peoples of the republic.� The Council noted that president Vladimir Putin's praised republic�s achievements in laws harmonization and other reforms.

Oktyabrsky Leads Even Ufa in Private Enterprise Development
According to Bashkortostan�s ministry of trade and foreign affairs on 27 June, Oktyabrsky now has the greatest amount of private enterprise development in the republic.

Saxony Days Held in Ufa
Saxony Economics and Labor Minister Karl Schommer visited Ufa on 27 June to open his German region's economic fair there. He met with Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov to discuss cooperation and oil exports.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi