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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 22, 2001

22 October 2001
Kazan, Helsinki Foster Parliamentary Relations
State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin took part in a plenary session of Finland's parliament during a visit to Helsinki, Tatar-inform reported on 19 October. He met with Speaker Riita Uosukainen; her deputy, Yakko Mikkola; and Foreign Trade Minister Kimmo Sasi to discuss bilateral cooperation. Uosukainen stressed that the cultures of the two peoples are closely related and that both sides share each others' viewpoints.

Speaker Says He Need Not Be Defended
State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin told Tatar-inform on 19 October that he need not be "defended" from criminal charges out of Moscow for remaining contradictions between Tatarstan's laws and federal legislation. Tatar activists at a 14 October commemorative meeting appealed to the republic's residents to defend the speaker. Mukhametshin said the legislature is finishing approximation of the republic's legislation and stressed that it is necessary now to make constructive decisions rather than "to express emotions at meetings." He called on leaders of national organizations to refrain from radical statements and assessments.

Russian Scholar Says Rejecting Single Script Threatens Russia's Integrity
Irina Khaleeva, the official in charge of linguistic cooperation between Russia and the Council of Europe and the rector of the Moscow Linguistic University, told "Rossiiskaya gazeta" that a "country's disintegration starts with language revolutions." She called for a declaration of Russian as a state language within the Russian Federation. She said that "velvety" language revolutions become detonators of economic and social destruction. Khaleeva stressed that unified writing consolidates a nation, while rejecting a single script would undermine mutual understanding between Russian residents.

Dal'avia Leases Second Tu-214
The second Tu-214 jet produced at Kazan's aircraft plant and leased by the Khabarovsk Dal'avia left Kazan for Khabarovsk on 20 October, reported. Dal'avia General Manager Pavel Sevastyanov said that he is "more than satisfied" by the first plane -- which his company has been using since May. He said Dal'avia plans to purchase six more Tu-214s. Yevgenii Zaritskii, head of the Finance Leasing Company, said his company has 25 orders for Kazan-produced jets, seven of which are from foreign airlines. Sergei Kogogin, a deputy prime minister and economy and industry minister, called the results "a breakthrough in the long-term fight for the revival of Russian aircraft construction."

Tatarstan, Sudan To Boost Ties
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and visiting Sudanese Foreign Trade Minister Abdelkhamid Musa Kasha agreed to Tatneft's participation in the development of oil and gas deposits in Sudan, Tatar-inform reported on 19 October. The two discussed trade cooperation between Sudan and KamAZ, the Kazan helicopter plant, and the Kazan aviation plant. The Sudanese delegation met with First Deputy Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister Vladimir Mikhailov to discuss establishing service centers for Kazan-produced Mi-17 helicopters and Tu-214 jets in Sudan.

Ufa Reverses On Cooperation With Kazan In Petrochemical Sector
The inter-governmental commission between Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in Ufa discussed the integration of the two republics' petrochemical companies and the processing of oil from Tatarstan at Bashkortostan's oil-processing plants, Efir-inform reported on 19 October. Bashkortostan's side disagreed with some paragraphs of the cooperation agreement in the petrochemical sector, signed recently by the presidents of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Ural Rakhimov, the head of the Bashneftekhim board of directors and son of President Murtaza Rakhimov, rejected strengthening cooperation, saying that "the idea of integration should not be taken as dogma." Bashkortostan's deputy prime minister, Midkhat Shakirov, said "a discussion on transferring rights of property of [oil processing] companies would be premature."

Tuben Kama Resident Receives Suspicious Letter
A resident of Tuben Kama received an envelope containing some sort of white powder, RIA-Novosti reported on 19 October. The Federal Security Service said the case will be considered a terrorist threat even if the powder is found to be harmless.

Press Delivery Price Up
The price of press deliveries to subscribers will rise in Tatarstan by 13.8 percent on 1 January 2002, RBK reported on 19 October. The republic's publication catalogue includes 474 mass-media titles. The delivery of periodicals totals 2.3 million copies, or 625 copies per 1,000 residents.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Ufa Delegation Visits St. Petersburg
Visiting St. Petersburg on 18 October, President Murtaza Rakhimov took part in the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Golden Deer of Eurasia" at the Hermitage Museum, Bashinform reported. The exhibition presents archeological displays found in the Republic of Bashkortostan. A delegation from Bashkortostan also joined St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev at a ceremony to open a local branch of Bashkreditbank. Rakhimov met with Yakovlev to discuss economic cooperation. The Bashkortostan delegation also visited a St. Petersburg stone-processing plant to discuss bilateral cooperation.

Bashkreditbank To Change Its Name
Bashkreditbank President Azat Kurmanaev said the name of his bank will be replaced with a "more general" one, Bashinform reported on 19 October. He said that the bank, working in 25 regions, has outgrown the republican framework and has become an institution of federal importance. He said, however, that a new name of the bank will still reflect its native republic. Bashkreditbank has already renamed its bank cards -- from "Bashcard" to "Accord", which Kurmanaev said is "clearer" for Russian residents.

Official Says Special Body Needed To Protect Women
Rashida Sultanova, the head of the Bashkortostan registry offices' board, called for the establishment of an executive body in charge of women's status in society, Bashinform reported on 19 October. Her comments came at a Moscow forum of women elected to parliaments in Russia and the CIS.

Adenauer Fund Holds Seminar On Federalism In Ufa
State Secretary Faukat Kidrasov said that Bashkortostan has effectively wielded the powers it was given by a 1994 power-sharing treaty with Moscow, Bashinform reported on 19 October. He said the republic's economic results in recent years prove that. Kidrasov's comments came at a seminar on federalism in Ufa organized by the Moscow branch of the Konrad Adenauer Fund.

Ildus Adigamov, the chairman of Bashkortostan's Constitutional Court, said relations between Moscow and regions are complicated by differing interpretations of some fundamental concepts, stereotypes federal authorities follow in evaluating republican constitutions, and the one-sided nature of the federation.

Deputy Prime Minister Foat Khantimerov said the republic faces financial losses because of the redistribution of taxes between the federal and republican budgets. However, it is seventh among Russia's 12 donor-regions that provide two-thirds of federal budget funds. The republic also is fourth -- after Moscow, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, and Tatarstan -- in terms of its annual growth in transfers to the federal budget. Khantimerov said that a high degree of cross-border financial flows, centralization of financial resources, and the strict regulation of budget-creation are the main problems in inter-budgetary relations.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova