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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 15, 2001

15 August 2001
Jewish School Sues Kazan Mayor
On 16 August the Vakhitovskii district court in Kazan will consider the suit brought by the local Jewish school against the city administration, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported. The Jewish community is expected to demand the abolition of the city mayor's resolution ruling that it is impossible to rebuild the school building after a recent fire. That resolution also stipulated that the school must move to another building, although the school administration has repeatedly stated its ability to repair the premises (see "RFE/RL Tatar Report," ?? August 2001). Reconstruction work is reportedly continuing, because local militia officers have no legal reasons to prevent it.

In previous interviews with RFE/RL, school representatives said that they plan to finish the repair works by 1 September. They also emphasized that large investments have already been made in the building with the help of the Israeli government and international Jewish organizations. In their opinion, the current conflict of interests was triggered by the building's "attractive location" in a historic district of downtown Kazan.

KAP To Join The Tender For A Large Order From FedEx
President Mintimer Shaimiev met representatives of the Russian Kaskol Group and the U.S. McKinsey consulting company on 14 August to discuss the possible production of 100 Tu-214 airplanes by the Kazan Aircraft Plant for the FedEx Corporation within the framework of its Loadmaster project. Kaskol and McKinsey reportedly approved Tatarstan as a potential partner for the FedEx after inspecting KAP's production sites. Kaskol General Director Sergei Nedoroslev said during the talks that the project preparations will last about three years.

After the meeting Tatarstan's Minister of Economy and Industry, Sergei Kogogin, confirmed that Kazan's aircraft builders "are able to handle the order, because in the old days KAP used to produce up to 50 airplanes per year." So far only 1 Tu-214 has been produced in Kazan.

Shaimiev Says Russia Should Do More To Support Aircraft Industry
During his meeting with the Russian Kaskol Group and McKinsey company on 14 August, Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev said that he "is surprised that Russia has not yet formed a leasing company to support the aircraft industry and its customers." He noted that such a company already exists in Tatarstan. It has already assisted in producing the first aircraft for Dalavia air company, and in developing perspective models of Ansat and Aktay small-capacity helicopters.

Tatarstan's Regions Urged To Make More Profits
Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Alevtina Kudryavtseva told a press conference on 14 August that only 11 of 45 districts in Tatarstan are donors, while the rest rely on financial assistance from the republican budget. She said the reason for this is that only a few regions have developed industries, while the others are purely agricultural.

Kudryavtseva said that Tatarstan's government intends to reduce the number of recipient regions to seven, thus reducing the precentage of unprofitable districts to 15%. She also said that there are large variations in living standards between the various districts of Tatarstaan. For example, the average per capita monthly income is only 946 rubles [$32] in Aksubay region compared with 4068 rubles [$139] in Elmet.

Shaimiev Proposes Cooperation With Ecuador
President Mintimer Shaimiev proposed to Ecuadorian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Ximena Martines de Peres on 14 August that her country should use the experience of Tatneft oil company in developing its oil industry. He added that Tatarstan is ready to build assembly lines for Oka small vehicles in Ecuador and establish direct ties for buying tropical fruits and flowers there.

Gale Force Winds Cause Damages In South East
About 30 villages and towns were disconnected from electricity lines on 13 August by gale force winds in the Cheremshan, Elmet, Leninogorsk and Bogelme regions on southeast Tatarstan. The winds also damaged a number of farms, injuring several people.

Tatar, Bashkir, Udmurt Prime Ministers To Meet
On 15 August the Prime Ministers of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Udmurtia are due to discuss the future increase of the water level at Tatarstan's Tuben Kama water reserve, Efir Inform reported. This measure is expected to boost the output of the Tuben Kama hydro power plant and at the same time flood part of the territories of neighboring republics.

First Moslem Calendar For Russophones
For the first time in Kazan's history, Iman publishers have printed a 2002 Moslem calendar in the Russian language, reported on 14 August. The calendar includes prayer timetables for believers in 11 major cities of Russia.

Kazan Hosts High-Level Chess Tournament
A group of former Soviet Chess stars led by Anatolii Karpov, Alexander Khalifman and Maya Chiburdanidze arrived in Kazan on 14 August for the Tatarstan-Europe tournament in which both amateur and professional Tatar players will participate.

By Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan Introduces Subventions For State Employees
On 14 August President Murtaza Rakhimov has issued a decree introducing monthly subventions for state employees in the Bashkortostan Republic, ITAR-TASS reported. Under the decree, state employees, except those working in republican and local governmental bodies, will receive a monthly payment of 180 rubles ($6.1).

Growing Demand For Social Security In Neftekamsk
According to the daily "Krasnoye Znamya" on 14 August, the opening of a special social security center will be opened in Neftekamsk to assist single pensioners and families with disabled people, originally planned for 2003, has been brought forward to 2002 because of the constantly growing number of applications for help.

Bashkir Airlines Interested In Buying Russian-Made Aircraft
The General Director of Bashkir Airlines, Nikolai Odegov, said on 14 August that only leasing programs could allow his company to purchase new domestically-produced aircraft. He called the Ulyanovsk-produced Tu-204 and the Kazan-produced Tu-214 "good potential buys," but also noted the lack of possible replacements for old small-range airplanes such as the An-24.

Bashkreditbank Intensifies Its Activities In Regions
Bashkreditbank opened new branches in five regions of Bashkortostan during the last week, Bashinform reported on 15 August. The bank's press service also announced that its customers will be encouraged to use their bank cards for receiving salaries and for shopping. Currently there are 214,000 Bashkreditbank card owners in the republic.

Bashkortostan's Exports To Belarus Down
Chemical industry products dominate Bashkortostan's exports to Belarus, "Respublika Bashkortostan" wrote on 15 August, while Belarus mostly exports food products, consumer goods and machinery to Bashkortostan. Foreign trade figures for the first six months of? 2001 show that Bashkortostan's exports fell by 10%, while imports from Belarus rose by 5%.

By Iskender Nurmi