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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 24, 2001

24 August 2001
Scholar Calls on Shaimiev to Rethink His Policies.
"Zvezda Povolzhya" on 23 August published an open letter from leader of Tatar Jadids club, historian and ethnologist Damir Iskhakov to president Mintimer Shaimiev saying that the republic leader had failed to defend Tatarstan and Tatars. Iskhakov stressed that "the Tatar political elite has neglected the interests of ordinary people and as a result, this would bring to unpredictable results if for example there was a referendum on the republic's status." He urged Shaimiev to decide on the future place of Tatar nation in Russia, "rather than regard the power sharing treaty between Kazan and Moscow as a key factor in relations with federal center." The Tatar historian also said that the president made a mistake by slowing the switchover to new Tatar spelling, "because it would delay the nation's entry to civilized world." In his words, "Tatarstan managed to create the worst type of ethnic television," and "should learn from the American and European media, for example using our fellow-countrymen working for Radio Liberty."

Experimental Introduction of Latin Tatar Script to Resume in Schools.
Experimental lessons of Latin Tatar script will resume in the schools of Tatarstan beginning from 1 September, meaning that the actual transition is being postponed, Tatarinform reported on 23 August.

UN Approves Tatarstan's Sale of Tires to Iraq.
The UN Security Council has allowed the imports of tires produced by Tuben Kama Tires Plant to Iraq within the oil for food program, Solid-Info reported on 23 August.

Tatarstan's Bolgar Organization Accepted by Bulgarian Assembly.
The President of the Bolgar National Congress from TR Gusman Khalilov joined the Bulgarian Assembly held in Maloye Pereshepino village, Poltava region in Ukraine, Tatarstan's press reported on 24 August. In Khalilov's opinion, ancient Bolgar people who lived on the territory of Tatarstan in medieval times are related to modern Bulgarians and the Tatar nation must change its "artificial" name to Bolgar.

Shaimiev Predicts Stable Bread Prices.
President Mintimer Shaimiev visited Chistay region of TR on 23 August, his press service reported. President participated in the opening ceremony of a new school there and met local residents to discuss future prices for bread. He said that high grain production figures of 2001 would protect the people from upsurge of bread prices. Earlier this year republican government abolished the state regulation of prices for bread and diary products.

Minnikhanov States Satisfaction With Harvesting Process In Tetesh
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov arrived in Tetesh region on 23 August to open a new school equipped with entertainment and recreation facilities. He said that he was satisfied with the region's successes in grain harvesting. Over 70% of the planned grain amount reportedly had already been gathered.

Teenage Drug Addiction Falls.
According to official statistics quoted by Tatnews on 23 August, the number of teenage drug addicts fell in Tatarstan by about 10% from 2000 to 2001.

By Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan To Process More Oil From Tatarstan.
Tatneft's annual oil supplies to Bashneftekhim company will increase from current four to six million tons according to a cooperation agreement signed on 16 August by the prime ministers of the two republics, republic media reported on 23 August.

Republic�s High Hopes For Military Exports�
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov said on 23 August that his republic �hoped to sign $200 million worth of contracts with Russian Rosoboronexport military equipment exporting company.� Earlier that day he met the company�s general director Andrey Belyaninov in Ufa to discuss the potential of former defense ministry plants in Bashkortostan.

�Fail To Come True.
The Rosoboronexport company�s spokeperson Alexander Smelyakov told on 23 August that his company would not sign any additional contracts with Bashkorotstan�s industries and maintain only previously endorsed agreements. Nevertheless he added that Rosoboronexport could assist Bashkortostan in presenting its products at international military fairs.

Some 300,000 to Benefit From New Social Subventions.
President Rakhimov�s decree providing an extra 180 rubles [$6,16] in monthly payments to budget sphere employees will affect 297,000 Bashkorotstan residents, AROMI reported on 23 August. Additional socials security measures of this kind had been introduced only in Saratov, Samara and Tatarstan Republic.

Government Urges Farmers to Intensify Harvesting.
Some 50% of Bashkorotstan�s grain has already been gathered, ITAR-TASS reported on 23 August. Deputy Agriculture Minister Artur Nugumanov told the agency that farmers were urged to speed up the harvesting in order to avoid the loss of this product due to deteriorating weather conditions.

Mari Public Center Anniversary Marked.
The Mari Public Center organization celebrated its 10th anniversary in Bashkortostan, "Mariyskaya Pravda" reported on 23 August. The 100,000 Maris represent 2,7% of the republic�s population.

Rakhimov Hands Out Certificates for Free Apartment.
President Murtaza Rakhimov handed free apartment ownership certificates to 170 families of Bashkortosta state employees in Ordzhonikidzevsky district of Ufa on 22 August, his press service reported.

By Iskender Nurmi