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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 30, 2001

30 October 2001
Shaimiev Calls For Peace Talks Between Moscow, Chechnya
President Mintimer Shaimiev told Interfax on 27 October that Moscow should seek negotiations with moderate representatives among Chechen separatists. He said of possible peace talks between federal officials and representatives of Aslan Maskhadov, "If there are moderate influential leaders among Maskhadov's supporters, why doesn't Moscow hear out them?" He said such a move could lead to the establishment of an authority that suits the majority of the population. Shaimiev said no one can ignore the fact that the current authorities in Chechnya are unacceptable to a portion of the populace, adding that if Chechen society does not consolidate, any efforts by federal authorities to restore the republic will fail. Shaimiev stressed that political methods must prevail over seemingly expedient ways to resolve this protracted problem.

Shaimiev Elected Co-Chairman Of Unity, Fatherland, All Russia Union
President Shaimiev was elected a co-chairman representing All Russia in that group's union with Unity and Fatherland at those movements' unification congress on 29 October, Tatar-inform reported.

Duma Deputy Oleg Morozov became a member of the union's general council charged with preparations for its transformation into a political party. Morozov called it the first unification in the history of democratic Russia of forces promoting common sense, true patriotism, and civil peace and harmony. Morozov thanked the leaders of Unity and Fatherland for their preparedness to unite with All Russia.

Fatherland leader Yurii Luzhkov warned against returning to practices like "the sixth paragraph of the constitution of the USSR" that proclaimed one-party rule.

Russian-Turkish Business Council To Gather In Kazan
Turkey's general consul to Tatarstan, Akhmet Reza Demirer, told a news conference on 29 October that some 100 Turkish businessmen will take part in the ninth Russian-Turkish Business Council meeting in Kazan on 1-2 November. Participation by companies from Tatarstan in a Turkish gas-pipeline project connecting is on the agenda.

Iran Presents Scientific Library To History Institute
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi presented 1,000 Persian history and culture books to the Institute of History at Tatarstan's Academy of Science, "Respublika Tatarstan" reported on 27 October. The third secretary of the Iranian Embassy to Moscow, Ali Musavi, presented the gift to Tatarstan's first deputy plenipotentiary representative to Moscow, Mikhail Stolyarov. Stolyarov said the humanitarian action demonstrates that Islam is an enlightening and peaceful religion.

Ali Aqysh Presents Archive To Tatarstan
The private archive and library of a former RFE/RL employee, Ali Aqysh, have been delivered to Tatarstan from Germany, "Respublika Tatarstan" reported on 27 October. Materials, including documents related to famous Tatar public figures and politicians Gayaz Iskhaki, Yusuf Aqchura, Sadri Maqsudi, Fatikh Karimi, Gabdulbari Battal, were presented by Aqysh to the Tatarstan National Archive.

Tatar Writer Calls On Bush To Stop Bombardment Of Afghanistan
"Medeni jomga" on 26 October published an open letter from Tatar writer Rabit Batulla to U.S. President George W. Bush urging him to stop bombing Afghanistan. Batulla said Muslims are being killed in Europe, in Chechnya, in the Near East, and in Afghanistan, while no world war has ever begun under the flag of Islam.

New Volume Of Book Commemorating Victims Of Political Repression
The fourth volume of a book dedicated to the victims of political repression is ready for publication, Tatar-inform reported on 29 October. The book includes 3,385 names of Tatarstan residents charged with high treason or who were killed or died in detention between 1918 and 1983. The book's editor, Mikhail Cherepanov, said a list of some 2,000 political prisoners who died in the Kazan psychiatric clinic was being published for the first time. The book's database includes more than 37,000 names of detained Tatarstan residents and more than 23,000 prisoners who died in Tatarstan.

First KamAZ Truck Assembled In Poland
The first KamAZ truck has been assembled at the joint Tatar-Polish venture near Krakow, reported on 29 October. KamAZ General Manager Ivan Kostin told the agency that the venture's assembly capacity was 300 trucks a year, adding that it would produce its first 30 automobiles in 2001. KamAZ also has assembly lines in Kazakhstan and Ethiopia.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkir Magazine Seeks To Prove �Bashkir' Origin Of Bashkortostan's Tatars
In an article titled "The North-Western Bashkirs," the Bashkir youth magazine "Shongqar" writes in its October issue that the northwestern lands of Bashkortostan, as well as Tatarstan's Minzele Raion and Perm Oblast, were initially populated by Bashkirs. Tatars later came to these regions, and the Tatar language and culture became dominant there, it says. The publication reports that local Tatar-speaking Bashkirs studied Tatar in school for many years, assimilated as a result and lost their national identity, and began calling themselves "Tatars." The magazine suggests that Tatar writer Ildar Yuzeev and his brother, Tatar literature professor Nil Yuzeev, who now reside in Tatarstan and are natives of the northwestern part of the republic, are in fact assimilated Bashkirs.

Government Promotes Cinematography
The cabinet adopted a five-year program to develop cinematography, the government press service reported on 29 October. The document promotes the reconstruction, re-equipment, and modernization of cinemas, construction of new facilities, development of a video-archive network, and renovation of a films collection. The program will be financed by the state alongside investments from businesses, banks, financial organizations, and sponsors.

'Kursk' Sailor Buried In Bashkortostan
Fanis Ishmuratov, a warrant officer aboard the "Kursk" submarine, was buried on 29 October in the Meryas village of Bashkortostan's Baimak Raion, reported. He became the second of four "Kursk" crew members from Bashkortostan to receive a proper burial since the October 2000 tragedy. One year ago, Robert Gessler was returned and interred in Blagovar.

Rakhimov Praises New Facility At Bashkir-German Venture
President Murtaza Rakhimov took part in a ceremony marking the launch of a new outlet for Bashkir-German construction-materials joint venture Bashkirskii Granit in Ufa, the presidential press service reported on 29 October. Rakhimov called the event important for the whole republic and stressed the necessity to further develop contacts with German partners like Hummel GmbH.

Bashkreditbank Seeks To Purchase Bank In Petersburg
Bashkreditbank will likely purchase St. Petersburg's Petro-Aero-Bank, "Vedomosti" reported on 29 October. Bashkreditbank President Azat Kurmanaev recently announced plans to buy a bank with a network of offices in St. Petersburg. Petro-Aero-Bank has basic capital of 29.9 million rubles, eight offices in St. Petersburg, and another in Moscow. The newspaper cited a source within St. Petersburg banking circles as saying that the acquisition may cost between $10 million and $12 million. A Petro-Aero-Bank shareholders meeting on 31 October is due to discuss a capital hike.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova