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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 1, 2001

1 August 2001
UNESCO Rewards Buinsk For Providing Interethnic Concord
Tatarstan's Buinsk urban area on 31 July was awarded the UNESCO gold medal for the development of interethnic relations and the preservation of inter-confessional concord, Tatarstan Television reported. President Mintimer Shaimiev attended the ceremony and the same day opened a new bridge in Buinsk and a newly- built youth culture center, registry office and offices of the ecological center and the employment fund. In an interview with Tatarstan television, Valerii Sakharov, a representative of the Russian commission on UNESCO affairs, praised Buinsk residents for peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding, and dialogue.

Bashkortostan Officials Against Introduction Of Latin Tatar Script
Bashkortostan Education Minister Galiya Mukhamedyanova on 31 July told "Omet" that "the issue of introducing Latin script in Bashkortostan's schools does not exist." Previously, a Deputy Minister had said that students of Bashkortostan's Tatar schools will not use Latin Tatar script since Bashkortostan's parliament has not adopted a law on switching to the Latin alphabet even though the Tatarstan legislature has done so.

Republic Satellite TV Channel To Begin Broadcasting This Month
A spokesman for Tatarstan's Communications Ministry said on 31 July that the ministry received 1.6 billion rubles ($55 million) of profit during the first six months of the year, Tatarstan Radio reported. The average salary in the sector totals 2,600 rubles. The local telephone network increased this year by 76,200 telephones to a total of 1,011,000, or 66 telephones per 100 families in the cities and 22 in the rural areas. Akhmet Salimov, the head of the state radio-television broadcasting center, told the Ministry board that that a new republic satellite television channel will be launched by 20 August.

Tatarstan Militiamen To Serve In Chechnya Until 2002
Yevgenii Davletshin, the head of the Interior Affairs Kazan Board, said on 31 July that 150 of his service's employees will be sent to the North Caucasus in September, Efir-inform reported. He said that militiamen now have to wear bullet-proof vests permanently because of the complicated conditions in Chechnya. He added that militiamen from Tatarstan will serve there until 2002.

Per-Hour Telephone Fee Introduced In Tuben Kama, Chally
Per-minute telephone charges will be introduced in Tuben Kama and Chally as of 1 August, Efir-inform reported. The local telephone company said that the measure is intended to reduce the pressure on the communications network. At present each subscriber uses the telephone for some10 hours a month.

Municipal Services Workers Go On Strike
Some 1,200 municipal services employees in the Kazan Aviastroitelnyi district have begun a strike to demand the payment of their back wages, and are threatening to cut off energy and water supplies, Tatarstan Television reported on 31 July. The average salary of the strike participants totals 1,500 rubles. They have not been paid since April.

Mosques Open In Saratov, Penza Oblasts
A new mosque has opened in the Yakovlevka village of Saratov Oblast's Bazarno-Karabulakskii district, Tatar-inform reported on 31 July. Local residents and the Volga region Muslim Religious Board sponsored the construction. In the Srednyaya Yelyuzan village in Penza Oblast, where 10,000 Tatars live, the oldest of five local mosques has been reopened after restoration.

Islamic Courses Arranged In St. Petersburg
More than 100 persons are attending a summer course in the St. Petersburg Islamic school Al Fatkh to study Muslim law, Islamic precepts, the Koran, and the saying of the Prophet Mohammed, Tatar-inform reported.

33 Infected With Cholera In Kazan
Tatarstan media reported on 31 July that 33 patients from the total of 210 hospitalized in Kazan have so far been diagnosed as suffering from cholera. Nineteen of the 33 are children under the age of 14. A lake that was reported to be the source of the disease was drained and burnt the same day. All Kazan reservoirs have been checked and the infection has not been found in any other body of water. Gennadii Onishchenko, the Russian chief sanitary doctor, said in Kazan that the city won't be put in quarantine.

Chally Deputy Mayor On Trial For Bribery
Tatarstan's Prosecutor Kafil Amirov on 30 July told ITAR-TASS that Chally Deputy Mayor Yevgenii Anikin has been arrested for receiving a bribe.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Tatarstan Delegation Visits Ufa
President Murtaza Rakhimov met with Tatarstan Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on 31 July to discuss a forthcoming meeting between the presidents of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan at which a general agreement on integration of the two republics' oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors is to be signed, Tatar-inform reported. Rakhimov said that the economies of the two republics need to be more tightly integrated. Minnikhanov said that the visit yielded new positive results and mutually advantageous agreements between Kazan and Ufa. The two sides agreed that Tatarstan will deliver annually 6 million tons of oil to Bashkortostan's oil refineries, one of which will be first rented and then purchased by Tatneft. The draft document that is to be signed by Rakhimov and Shaimiev also stipulates that Kazanorgsintez will receive 100,000 tons of ethylene a year from Bashkortostan, while the latter will lease two Kazan-produced Tu-214 jets. Members of the bilateral energy coordinating council were confirmed.

Wholesale Trade Companies Unite
A new republic association for the promotion of wholesale trade has held its constituent meeting, Bashinform reported on 31 July. Seventy firms have so far joined that association.

Natural Resources Database Set Up
Bashneftegeofizika began creating a comprehensive territorial database of mineral and fuel resources, Bashinform reported on 31 July.

Average Salary Up By One Fifth...
The average salary in the republic has grown this year by 20 percent to 2,474 rubles ($85), which is the fourth highest rate in the Volga District, Bashinform reported on 31 July. But the wages of agricultural sector employees total only 30 percent of that figure, while cultural, educational, health, and sport sectors employees receive 48-57 percent of the average rate. At the same time, workers of in the fuel, pipeline, and banking sectors are paid 2-4 times the republican average.

...As Inflation, Food Prices Rise
The State Statistics Committee on 30 July said that inflation totaled 11.6 percent during the first six months of the year while food prices increased during the same period by 14.7 percent compared to 6.7 percent in 2000, Bashinform reported.

HIV-Infection Rose 17 Times A Year
The Healthcare Ministry on 31 July said that the number of HIV-infected residents has grown over the last year by a factor of 17 to 1,272 and totals now 41.7 per thousand inhabitants, which is 50 percent lower than the Russian average of 89.1 per thousand inhabitants, Bashinform reported.

By Gulnara Khasanova