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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 17, 2001

17 August 2001
Shaimiev and Rakhimov Discuss Mutual Cooperation...
The presidents of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, Mintimer Shaimiev and Murtaza Rakhimov, marked the tenth anniversary of the friendship and cooperation treaty signed between their republics by signing on 16 August in the Aktanysh region of Tatarstan a memorandum positively assessing the development of bilateral relations. But the two presidents admitted that the trade turnover between their republics should be intensified.

The two republics' prime ministers, Rustam Minnikhanov and Rafael Baydavletov, signed a treaty at the same meeting on integrating the oil and petro-chemical industry complexes of their republics.

...As Bashkorotstan's Tatars Say More Issues Should Have Been Discussed
A Tatar gymnasium principal from the Belebey region of Bashkortostan told RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau on 16 August that the Tatar and Bashkir presidents should have also discussed the status of Tatars living in Bashkortostan. In his words, it is vital to draw the attention of the presidents to the infringements of Tatars' rights in Bashkortostan, especially given the fact that they represent over 1 million of its estimated 4.3 million [correct?] population.

Tatneft Takes A Loan Despite Growing Profit
Tatarstan's Tatneft oil company has obtained a 900 million rubles [$30 million] loan from a group of Russian banks, including Trust and Investment Bank, Surgutneftebank, West Siberia Bank, Credit-Moscow Bank and Sibirgasbank, Tatnews reported on 16 August. Meanwhile Prime-Tass reported the same day that Tatneft's profits grew by 25.9% during the first half of 2001 compared with the same period last year and reached 7.68 billion rubles [$263 million].

Directors Board Admits KamAZ Lost Its Market Advantage
A recent meeting in Moscow of the KamAZ directors board admitted that the concern managed to step up its production so far this year, but failed to defeat its competitors on the Russian market, the daily "Respublika Tatarstan" reported on 17 August

Janitors Begin Strike In Central District of Kazan
Workers of the Vakhitovskii district housing services, including janitors and plumbers, announced a strike on 16 August to protest the continuing delay in receiving their wages. They say they have not been paid since May.

Thieves Profit From Harvesting Season In Rural Areas
Over 550,000 [$11,000] worth of agricultural products were stolen from Tatarstan's farms this summer, Efir TV reported on 16 August. Police also reported a number of cases when vegetable thiefs were detained red-handed.

Former And Present Veterinary Academy Rectors Accused Of Abuse Of Funds
The daily "Vremya i Dengi" wrote on 17 August that interior ministry officials have detained the former rector of Kazan Veterinary Academy, Gazim Idrisov, and its present rector, Rifat Kurbanov, on charges of abuse of funds.

By Iskender Nurmi

State Media Praise Rakhimov-Shaimiev Meeting
Bashkortostan's state media outlets commented positively on the 16 August meeting of Presidents Rakhimov and Shaimiev, saying that "it proceeded in a warm and friendly environment" and "met the needs of integration between fraternal regions."

Fewer Bashkir Journalists Sued This Year
According to Bashkortostan's judicial bodies meeting on 16 August, only 26 cases have been brought against journalists so far in 2001, which is one sixth of the number for the corresponding period in 2000.

Computer Classes To Be Given To All Rural Schools...
Minister of Education Galila Mukhamedyanova told a press conference on 16 August that by 1 September 2001, all rural schools in the republic will be equipped with computer classes. She said the federal and Bashkortostan budgets provided 38 millions rubles [$1.3 million] each towards the cost of computerization.

...While Lack Of Teachers Still A Serious Problem
Mukhamedyanova told the same press conference that "there is a deficit of teachers in agricultural areas, because many graduates of pedagogical institutes avoid working in schools."

Rakhimov Among The Most Influential Regional Leaders
On 16 August "Nezavisimaya gazeta" named Murtaza Rakhimov Russia's fourth most influential regional leader, referring to an influence rating compiled by its experts.

Deputy Prime Minister Inspects Bashprombank
Deputy Prime Minister Fidus Yamaltdinov met the director of Bashprombank, Leonid Gafarov, on 16 August to discuss the current situation at the bank and check its progress in debt restructuring.

By Iskender Nurmi