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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 20, 2001

20 July 2001
Shaimiev Says Referendum May Be Held to Amend Constitution�
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 19 July said that the Tatarstan Constitution remains the only unchanged basic law in Russia, that it will also be amended and that a referendum may be held to pass the needed amendments, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported.

�And Calls On Deputies To Promote Tatarstan�s Interests
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 19 July told Duma deputies from Tatarstan that the power-sharing concept proposed by Tatarstan does not suit many people in Russia including the country leaders despite being fully in line with the Russian Constitution. But the Duma and the Federation Council continue adopting laws contradicting the Russian basic law, he stressed. He criticized as �unwise� the desire of Russian Interior Minister to appoint regional interior minister without regional leaders agreeing. He called on deputies to contact more closely with republic heads and regretted that eight of ten Duma members from Tatarstan had favored the law on importing spent nuclear fuel that had been opposed by Tatarstan President and Speaker. Oleg Morozov, the co-chairman of the Regions of Russia deputies group, said after the meeting that the participants agreed to sign a protocol specifying their functions. And he added that officials responsible for the relations with Duma will hence be appointed in the republic cabinet, the presidential administration and the State Council.

Mukhametshin Visits Moscow�
State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin took part in a meeting of the Federation Council�s committee on federation affairs, federative treaty and regional policy, Tatarstan Radio reported on 19 July. At a meeting with presidential chief-of-staff Aleksandr Voloshin, he promoted Tatarstan�s initiative on giving republic experience in developing local self-governance a status of federal experiment. The idea that had been supported by Presidential Volga District Envoy Sergei Kirienko as well found approval by Voloshin.

�And Joins Russian Legislators Union
Mukhametshin was accepted a member of the Russian Legislators Union, the organization that unites heads of regional legislatures and is intended to strengthen the role of regional legislative bodies in decision-making at the federal and regional level, Rosbalt reported on 19 July.

Safiullin Says Azatliq Broadcasting Under Threat
Duma deputy Fandas Safiullin on 19 July told RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau that �Russia�s new leaders began discussing a stoppage of broadcasting of the �Azatliq�, �Svoboda� radios and that if they succeed, possibilities of disseminating information about ethnic issues will be significantly restricted.� He called on republic authorities to strongly promote Tatar media and said that he had received positive support from President Shaimiev on this and other issues.

More Strategic Companies in Tatarstan
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 19 July confirmed a list of 24 companies of strategic importance for the republic on which three new companies � Ak Bars Bank, Tatneftekhiminvest petrochemical holding and the Kamdorstroi road constructing company � have been included, AK&M reported. State representatives to these companies are appointed by the republic President and the state owns controlling interests there.

Draftees Win Suit Against Enlistment Office
A Kazan district court has satisfied a suit of Dinar Talyshkhanov and Igor Vavilov, students of the Contemporary Humanitarian Institute�s Kazan Affiliate, against the Kazan�s Volga district enlistment office that had called them for military service, �Vechernyaya Kazan� reported on 18 July. The two contested enlistment officials� argument that they are not subject to the deferment of service given to higher educational institutions students because they study at the affiliate but not at the institute itself.

Ministry Nominates Representative To Australia
Marat Gaisin, a Russian citizen permanently residing in Australia, was appointed representative of Tatarstan�s Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Ministry to Australia and ACEAN, Tatar-inform reported on 19 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov�s Moscow Meetings
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 17 July took part in a meeting of the presidential commission on power sharing held by President Vladimir Putin, the presidential press service reported. The next day, Rakhimov met with LUKoil president Vagit Alekperov to discuss performance of bilateral agreements and mutual cooperation and promoted deliveries of Tyumen oil to Bashkortostan at a meeting with the Tyumen oil company vice president.

Control Committee Fights Wage Arrears
Bashkortostan�s State Control Committee on 19 July announced that it will take strict measures to those heads of enterprises that have debts on wages, reported. Committee head Petr Bobylev said that debts to employees are �impermissible.� According to republic trade unions, currently 1786 companies there owe totally 945 million rubles ($32.6 million). The Committee said its checking had found that employers violate the governmental resolution according to which they must not receive their salary before all debts to employees are repaid. Deputy Prime Minister Fidus Yamaltdinov told the same meeting that 30 percent of employees in the republic face wages delays while 73 heads of enterprises receive their salaries despite they owe their employees.

Trade Union Leader Says Unions Fail to Perform Their Functions
Amirkhan Samirkhanov, the chairman of the Bashkortostan Trade Unions Federation, told a meeting of State Control Committee on 19 July that trade unions are not performing their functions and that they have failed to overcome the wage arrears problem, Bashinform reported. He said that unions often promote the interests of employers rather than employees.

Violations of Labor Rights Reported
Labor and Social Care Minister Lev Bakusov on 19 July said that his ministry has found numerous violations of the rights of women in the workplace, Bashinform reported. He said the women do not complain because they are afraid they will lose their jobs. The worst violations, he said, take place in small and mid-sized firms.

Folklore Festival Held in Chelyabinsk Oblast
More than 20 creative collectives from Bashkortostan, Perm, Orenburg and Chelyabinsk oblasts took part in the fourth international folklore ethnographic festival Arkaim, Bashinform reported on 19 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova