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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 26, 2001

26 September 2001
Mukhametshin to Hold Talks on Constitutional Amendments, Latinization with Moscow
State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin left for Moscow on 25 September to meet the deputy heads of Russian presidential staff Vladislav Surkov and Dmitry Kozak for talks on bringing the Tatarstan's Constitution into conformity with Russian laws, the State Council presidential service reported. Mukhametshin also planned to "explain the position of Tatarstan's State Council regarding the future switch to Latin Tatar script" to the Russian State Duma deputies who have proposed legislation that would make such a step illegal.

Small Parliament to Be Abolished in Tatarstan State Council
The so-called small parliament within Tatarstan's State Council is to go on session on 27 September, RIA Novosti reported. The agency didn't exclude the possibility of that it would be the last session of that legislative body involving 29 fulltime legislators working in the Council, because of an October 1999 federal law that says regional laws can be adopted only by a majority of elected deputies. Since that time, the small parliament has continued to adopt legislation, however.

Tatar Politician Backs Russia's Abstention from Combat Actions in Afghanistan
Robert Minnulin, a Tatar writer who is deputy chairman of Tatarstan's State Council, told "Vechernyaya Kazan" on 25 September that he hopes President Putin will not change his decision not to send troops to Afghanistan.

Tax Police Chief Praises Subordinates in Tatarstan
Mikhail Fradkov, the director of the Federal Tax Police, said in Kazan on 25 September that Tatarstan's Tax Police is one of the best regional tax bodies, Tatnews reported. He noted that they had collected some 6 billion rubles ($204 million) from tax evaders in the republic.

Diary Products to Rise in Price
Vagiz Mingazov, the General director of Tatarstan Sote Holding Company, said on 25 September that prices for dairy products will rise by 7-10 percent in response to higher costs.

Families of Dead Factory Workers Given Compensation
Each family of the five Nefis chemical factory employees who died after falling into industrial waste reservoir on 20 September will get a one-time insurance payment of 10 thousand rubles ($340), "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 25 September. Children of the diseased will get 3000 rubles of monthly compensations until they become of age.

Kazan Helicopters Plant Can't Afford to Display Product at International Aircraft Fairs
Kazan Helicopters Plant will make a video presentation at upcoming aircraft fairs because it cannot afford the transportation costs of sending actual planes, "Vremya i Dengi" reported on 25 September.

Over 50 New HIV Positives Recorded in Last Week Alone
Some 54 new cases of HIV infection were registered during last week in Tatarstan, Tatarinform reported on 25 September. There are now 3500 people registered as being HIV infected in the republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Asks Legislators to Defend Republic's Economic Interests
President Murtaza Rakhimov told the republic's State Assembly and Duma deputies that they must work to defend the economic interests of Bashkortostan, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 25 September. Duma deputy Helil Barlibayev said that in 2002 as in earlier years, Bashkortostan's budget expenses will be on a special budget line of the Russian state budget. This year, the federal budget contributed a 9.9 billion rubles ($336 million) to the 23 billion rubles budget of Bashkortostan.

Civil Defense System Revived
Bashkortostan's Council of Ministers issued a decree on civil defense, obliging the enterprises of all types of property to form special organizations to ensure that those responsible for dealing with emergencies can do their jobs, Bashinform reported on 25 September.

Judicial Illiteracy A Major Human Rights Problem
Speakers at a human rights conference in Ufa 25-26 September said that the absence of legal knowledge among the population is a major problem in the republic. Not present at the meeting was Bashkortostan Human Rights Commissioner Singir Gazizov, an absence that led to a view that the meeting was not to be taken seriously.

IOC Gives Award to Rakhimov
The International Olympic Committee presented President Murtaza Rakhimov with a diploma recognizing his personal contribution to the development of sport, the presidential press service reported on 25 September.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi