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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 30, 2001

30 July 2001
Tatarstan Delegation In Sevastopol
State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin arrived in Sevastopol on 27 July to take part in the celebrations of the Navy Fleet Day and joint parade of the Russian and Ukraininan fleets held by presidents Vladimir Putin and Leonid Kuchma, Tatar-inform reported.

Former Yeltsin Advisor Says Kazan-Moscow Treaty Was 'Great Success'
Mikhail Krasnov, who served as an advisor to formr Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Russian, was quoted by "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 27 July as saying that the signing of the power-sharing treaty with Tatarstan in 1994 was a "great success." He said that although formally it contradicted some paragraphs of the Rusian Constitution, it was politically useful as it began a process of searching compromises. He said that Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev, due to his wisdom and experience, managed to keep control over the situation in the republic where nationalist moods were very strong. Krasnov added that Moscow then proposed tto Chechen President Djohar Dudaev that he sign a similar treaty that gave even more power to Chechnya, but the Chechen leaders were too radical at that time. Krasnov noted that the federal authorities by inclination are centralists rather than federalists, and reforms are based on a centralist ideology. But centralist trends, he stressed, lead to disintegration of the country, especially of a multicultural and multinational country.

Weekly Says MediaUnion Will Help Moscow Control Press
"Zvezda Povolzhya" on 26 July reported that setting up of the MediaUnion in Tatarstan was openly supported by the chief federal inspection. The paper cited inspection officials as saying that "the Tatarstan Journalists Union is entirely controlled by Shaimiev while we need our own journalists' organization." The paper noted that the Journalists' Union of Russia, of which the Tatarstan Journalists' Union is a member, has adopted an anti-Putin orientation and accuses the Russian president of exerting pressure on journalists. As for the MediaUnion, it fully supports Putin and in its turn enjoys Kremlin support. And all funds given to mass media from the federal budget, the paper said, have been distributed exclusively through the MediaUnion. It concluded that "the press will be held on a leash made of excellent expensive leather."

Eurasian Party Registered
"Kommersant" on 27 July reported that the Eurasian party led by Abdul-Vakhed Niyazov has been successfully registered by the Russian Justice Ministry. The party is a successor to the Refakh movement and has more than 5,000 members in over 50 federation subjects. Niyazov said his party aims to establish of civil peace in Russia, and to promote the equality of all nationalities and religions, the integration of former USSR republics into an economic union, and a merger of Russian regions.

Kazan Helicopter Plant Gathers Its Exploiters
Participants in the fourth international conference of users from 17 countries of the Kazan-produced Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters were informed that all crashes of these machines since 1982 were the result of pilot error, Tatar-inform reported on 27 July. Over the past seven years, the Kazan helicopter plant has sold abroad $1 billion worth of helicopters and in 2001, it exported $300 million worth of production. cited an unofficial source as saying that the plant has received an order for the delivery of 30 helicopters to China. The Company's general manager, Aleksandr Lavrentyev, also said that orders from Russian companies have recently increased.

Moscow University To Train Specialists In Tatar
The Moscow Pedagogical University opened a new specialty "Russian and Tatar languages and literatures," Tatar-inform reported on 27 July. Fifteen students will be accepted annually. An Education Ministry official told the agency that Tatarstan has a quota at the Moscow Peoples' Friendship University as well.

Chinese Mayors Discuss Cities' Resources in Kazan
A delegation of mayors of Chinese cities on 29 July arrived in Kazan to take part in a seminar devoted to urban resources, Tatar-inform reported.

Production Growth Continues In Tatarstan
The State Statistics Committee on 27 July said that the republic's industry manufactured 102 billion rubles ($3.5 billion) worth of production during the first six months of the year, Tatar-inform reported.

KamAZ Boosts Exports To Asia
KamAZ has delivered 200 trucks to the United Arab Emirates, reported on 27 July. So far this year KamAZ has sold 840 automobiles in the Asian market. The concern has orders on its books for the delivery of 1,500 trucks to Iraq and more than 1,000 to South-Eastern Asia.

Tatenergo Seeks Debts Paid
The Energosbyt energy provider cut off heating supplies to 21 Kazan enterprises for non-payment of debts and issued warnings to 92 more, "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 28 July. Tatenergo is owed 238 million rubles by Kazan companies.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov, Shmakov Promote Cooperation Between State, Trade Unions
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 27 July met with Russian Independent Trade Union chairman Mikhail Shmakov to discuss trade union cooperation with state bodies to provide for woekers' needs, Bashinform reported. The stwo men discussed federal and regional legislation regulating activity of trade unions as well as the new edition of Labor Code. They noted that it is necessary to raise wages in order to reduce the impact of inflation.

Speaker On Importance Of Bilateral Treaties
Parliament Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev said that power-sharing treaties are of great importance for establishing federative relations and that their potential has not been still fully used, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 29 July. Tolkachev said that it is now necessary to clearly define the place these treaties occupy among federal legal acts. Some people set treaties and the federal constitution against each other and some regions do not need bilateral treaties, he said. He stressed that for Bashkortostan, the Ufa-Moscow treaty is of special importance for the republic*s relations with Russia. And he agreed at the same time that treaties must be amended to meet up-to-date requirements.

Moscow Refuses Funding To Develop Mineral, Fuel Resources In Bashkortostan
The government Geology and Natural Resources Board on 27 July said that the federal Natural Resources Ministry has refused to finance the development of mineral and fuel resources in the republic this year despite the fact that federation subjects transfer 30 percent of revenues for these needs to the federal budget.

Bashkir Tea Company Leading In Russia
The Teastan tea company was awarded a grand prize of the international "Partnership for Progress" program for successful business, Bashinform reported. Company general manager Sharif Gantsev received a gold medal and was named the Director of the Year 2001.

Gasoline Prices Down
The Russian State Statistics Committee said that gasoline prices in Bashkortostan fell by 5 percent this month, RIA-Novosti reported on 27 July.

By Gulnara Khasanova