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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 5, 2001

5 July 2001
Newspaper Says Moscow Favored Shaimiev in His Reelection Bid online newspaper wrote on 4 July that in January 2001 the Russian Duma "made a generous gesture for letting president Shaimiev's to be reelected, it allowed 69 of 89 Russia's regional leaders to seek third terms in office." According to the newspaper, only "after Shaimiev was reelected, deputies began their offensive on governors' rights. Boris Nadezhdin suggested that only the governors in Tatarstan, Kalmykia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Komi republics, Tver, Leningrad, Novgorod, Astrakhan, Sakhalin oblasts and Moscow mayor should be allowed to run for their third terms." The paper added that this draft "would most obviously be blocked by the Federation Council -- with the implicit consent of Kremlin."

Presidential Advisor Says Federal Policies Harm Tatarstan Oil Industry
Renat Muslimov, Presidential advisor on natural resources, oil and gas, was quoted by Tatarstan State TV on 4 July as saying that current federal tax policies effectively abolish Kazan-introduced tax benefits for the republic's oil industry. He emphasized the negative effect of this development by saying, "in last 5-6 years Tatarstan managed to extract some 30% of oil with the help of funds obtained from tax cuts and save some 15 billion rubles [$517 million]." He noted that the current weakening of republican oil industries allowed the oil extraction ventures from Udmurtia, Bashkortostan and Samara oblast to start their business in Tatarstan.

Seminar Considers How to End Tatarstan's Dependence on Oil
The Cabinet of Ministers organized a seminar in Alabuga to consider how best to develop the region's economy without oil revenues, Tatarinform reported on 4 July.

Trade Union Leader Supports Draft Labor Code
Tatarstan Trade Unions Federation chairwoman Tatyana Vodopyanova supports the draft Labor Code to be discussed by State Duma on 5 July, Tatnews agency reported.

Rector Calls For Upgrading the Status of Tatar in Unversities
Tatar Humanitarian University rector Vasil Gayfullin told RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau on 4 July that universities should as allowed by law use Tatar for entrance examinations despite the protests of some students and the difficulties involved.

Russian Army Introduces Special Training Program in Tatarstan
A Russian military unit in Tatarstan has begun a special training course to prepare soldiers for service in Chechnya, Efir TV reported on 4 July. The television station quoted junior officers to the effect that the war itself was unnecessary. It also reported that on the same day the parents of Pavel Sadomov, 19, received the body of their son who had been killed in Chechnya.

Investments Increase in Tatarstan
Tatarstan's economy received 5,8 billion rubles ($200 million) of investments during the first quarter of 2001, exceeding the figures of the same period last year, Tatarinform reported on 4 July.

Muslim Activist Praised for Promotion of Faith
Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board praised the activities of its representative in Alexeyevsky region Rustam Valchakov, who recently launched the construction of the tenth mosque in his region, where Moslems represent only 23% of population.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Attends Tax Police Board Meeting
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 4 July said that the republic tax police board is among the best in Russia and praised its staff for good service, the presidential press service reported. But he said that the republic economic security is threatened by embezzlement and that budget funds misuse is still widespread.

Bashkir Delegation Participates in Moscow Sabantui
Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev took part in the Tatar-Bashkir holiday Sabantui in Moscow, Bashinform reported on 3 July. Tolkachev delivered a message of greeting by President Murtaza Rakhimov. The celebration, attended by some 50,000 Moscow residents, was organized by the Moscow government, by Bashkortostan and Tatarstan's plenipotentiary representations, and by the regional Tatar national-cultural autonomy.

Yakovlev Praises Bashkortostan for Culture Days
St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev on 4 July praised Bashkortostan for holding in the city the republic culture and art days, the presidential press service reported. Yakovlev said the republic has become the first region that arranged so large a cultural event in St. Petersburg.

Government Wants More Efficient Agriculture
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov sharply criticized former Elshe administration head Fanil Vildanov and called the situation in the district "critical," Bashinform reported on 4 July. He said that the debt of the district farms totals 454 million rubles ($15.6 million) and that meat production had fallen there fourfold over the last decade.

Invalids Receive Less Aid
Labor and Social Care Minister Lev Bakusov said that the republic received more than 169 million rubles ($5.8 million) in subventions from the federal budget for the social protection of invalids, Bashinform reported on 4 July. But he added that the volume of aid provided for invalids had reduced this year as a result of the rearrangement of inter-budget relations with Moscow.

Bashkir Students Visit Youth Musical Forum in Kyrgyzstan
Students of the Ufa musical lyceum Chingiz Khannanov and Shaura Sagitova visited Bishkek to take part in the international festival "Young talents" at the invitation of Mairam Akaeva, the head of the charity fund "Golden childhood" and the wife of Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akaev.

Chelyabinsk Bashkirs Held Second Congress
Delegates from the Chelyabinsk oblast's forty districts as well as Bashkortostan's governmental delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Khalyaf Ishmuratov took part in the Chelyabinsk oblast Bashkirs Congress, Bashinform reported on 3 July. The forum participants discussed preservation of national language and culture and appealed to Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov and oblast Governor Petr Sumin. Marat Kamalov, previously the Argayash administration head, was elected a chairman of the Congress Executive Committee.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova