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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 9, 2001

9 July 2001
Mukhametshin Says Moscow Not Playing Fair on Harmonization�
Speaker Farid Mukhametshin on 6 July told �Vostochny ekspress� that Tatarstan�s local administration heads will be elected rather than appointed as now. He also said that closed-door negotiations on harmonization between Moscow and Kazan have been taking place for six months, with Kazan being represented by President Mintimer Shaimiev and Moscow by a variety of Kremlin officials, including Aleksandr Voloshin and Dmitry Kozak. He said that the sides have already found formulas allowing Tatarstan to keep its powers and to show more clearly at the same time that the republic is part of Russia. Mukhametshin said that Moscow is not playing fair on harmonizing, turning to the courts even as the talks proceed.

�As Weekly Reports Deputies Against Harmonizing Constitution
Tatarstan Prosecutor Kafil Amirov protested the law on Tatarstan�s Constitutional Court noting that acts on international and foreign economic relations concluded by federation subjects cannot be considered as international agreements, �Zvezda Povolzhya� reported on 5 July. The weekly commented that thus Tatarstan�s status of a subject of international law that was confirmed at the republic referendum has been abolished. The requirement for a Tatarstan Constitutional Court judge to be a republic citizen was also removed from the act. �On the example of this law, one can see that the republic judicial system had lost its independence and originality and had become fully subordinate to federal authority,� the paper noted and added that �Putin has gain a convincing victory without appealing to any harmonization commissions.� The paper stressed that "a major part of State Council deputies are ready to resign rather than to harmonize the republic Constitution.�

Egyptians to Promote Tu-214 in International Market
Egyptian Ambassador to Moscow Reda Akhmet Shekhata on 6 July visited Kazan to negotiate joint production of the Tu-214 plane for international market, reported. Ibragim Kyamil, board chairman of Sirocco Aerospace International S.A.E., said after the meeting with President Mintimer Shaimiev that the Egyptian side will seek to equip Tu-214 with foreign engines.

Kazan Mayor Visits Turkey
Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov visited the IRCICA headquarters in Turkey to discuss participation of this organization in the celebration of Kazan millennium. Iskhakov also visited Istanbul and invited his counterpart to visit Tatarstan.

Tatneft Among Best Exporters
Tatneft on 6 July in Moscow was named one of the 73 Russian best exporters in 2000, Tatar-inform reported. The company had exported last year 17.4 percent of its production that totaled more than 1 billion rubles ($34.5 million) and had signed $2 million worth of contracts on sale of technologies.

HIV Infections Increase Dramatically
There are now 56 times as many HIV carriers in Kazan as there were a year ago, Tatar-inform reported on 6 July. But Oleg Romanenko, the head of the republic anti-AIDS center, said that there are 68.8 HIV-infected residents per capita in Tatarstan against the Russian average of 70.8.

Book on Democratic Opposition Issued in Kazan
A book by journalist Yelena Chernobrovkina �Tatarstan�s Democratic Opposition: The Record of Ten Years" was presented in Kazan on 6 July, Efir-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkirenergo Agrees To Call Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting�
The Bashkirenergo board on 6 July agreed to a demand by UES to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting, reported. But it refused to meet UES's call for a meeting no later than 10 August.

�And Reports Receivables of More than 4 Billion Rubles
The Bashkirenergo branch Energosbyt said on 6 July that the company is owed some 4 billion rubles ($138 million) by its consumers, of which 2.2 billion is owed by republic industrial companies and 1.1 billion by agricultural sector and goods manufacturers, reported. The republic's most profitable chemical and petrochemical companies are reportedly the largest debtors.

Ufa to Cooperate with NIKoil
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov and NIKoil finance-investment group president Nikolai Tsvetkov on 6 July in Moscow signed a five-year cooperation accord, Finmarket reported. The sides agreed to jointly participate in the development of production, export, and social sector in Bashkortostan. Tsvetkov said that Bashkortostan is �a region with the most stable economy and without social shocks something which is of importance for investors.�

Article Criticizing Turkey Published in Official Daily
RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent on 8 July reported that �Bashkortostan� has published what he described as �a contribution in the anti-Turkish ideological campaign being held in Russia.� The article consisted of a complaint by an unnamed Bashkortostan resident about bad living conditions in Turkey when he studied there. Even though it published the paper, several residents said that it looked like a fabrication and did not correspond to what they knew to be the case. Moreover, reporters from the paper failed to find the unnamed author.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova