13 November 2001
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANShaimiev Meets Putin To Discuss Future Merger Of Centrist Parties...
President Mintimer Shaimiev, representing the All Russia party in the region, along with the leaders of Fatherland and Unity met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 10 November to apprise him of their parties' upcoming merger. Shaimiev was joined by Unity party leader and Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Fatherland party leader and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. After the meeting Shaimiev, Shoigu, and Luzhkov told reporters that Putin supported the merger, which in the Tatar president's words "would create a party attractive for the people and able to influence their minds no less than the Communist Party, [and] propose its candidates for presidency and other state bodies."
...And Amendments To Tatarstan's Constitution
Also on 10 November, Shaimiev had a private meeting with the Russian president to "discuss the changes to be made to Tatarstan's constitution," both presidential press services reported the same day. The sides reportedly reached consensus on all the issues raised, which were withdrawn from open discussions in Moscow and Kazan working groups on legal adjustment.
Suit Filed Against Tatarstan's Constitution
The Russian Constitution Court went into session on 12 November to consider a claim by Tatarstan resident Marcel Salyamov that during the 1999 elections for the republican parliament he was unlawfully denied registration as a candidate in the Aznakay polling district. He is also challenging the republican constitution and the election law that permits regional administration heads representing the executive branch to run for parliament (legislative branch). Salyamov demanded that about 40 articles in Tatarstan's constitution be abolished as "constantly violating his rights."
State Council speaker Farit Mukhametshin, on behalf of the Republic of Tatarstan, confirmed that according to republican laws, a citizen cannot be registered as a candidate for a deputy's seat if his residence or workplace is not on the polling district's territory. He also said that, according to the terms of ongoing legal harmonization procedures, the Tatarstan Constitution was expected to be brought into full conformity with federal laws by late November 2001.
The court is to issue its ruling on the case in some three weeks' time.
Shaimiev Speaks On Private Farming, Putin's Policies
In an interview with Russian "Selskaya Zhizn" weekly on 6 November, President Shaimiev said that "only private investors, including those from abroad, will be able to revive the agricultural industry."
He also expressed support for "President Putin, who couldn't avoid building a strong vertical [structure of] authority in the conditions of a weak, difficult-to-control country." Nevertheless Shaimiev noted that "Russian laws should clearly divide the powers and responsibilities of the center and the regions," adding that "very soon Vladimir Putin will discover the necessity to democratize and liberalize" the center-periphery relations.
Tuben Kama Chemical To Use Its Own Raw Material
Tuben Kama Oil Chemical Co. intends to begin extraction of hydrocarbon gas from the Yaro-Yakhinsky deposit in West Siberia by the end of 2001, Tatar-inform reported on 12 November. According to the agency, the company is seeking independence from its traditional hydrocarbon gas suppliers -- Tatneft, LUKoil, and Sibneft.
Government To Resume Support To Small Businesses
Deputy PM Ravil Muratov, head of Russia's commission on economic and social reforms, met with private businessmen from Tatarstan on 12 November to explain the government's plans of further support to small businesses in the republic. Within the framework of a special governmental program, the republic has already simplified its system of small-businesses registration, certification of trade, and the leasing of state�owned real estate.
Muratov said that, as a second stage of this process, the government plans to provide state guarantees to bank loans taken by small businesses. A special fund will reportedly be created to support new business projects offered by Tatarstan's residents.
TPC Comes Out Against Wars In Afghanistan, Chechnya
Some 300 people joined a meeting organized by the Tatar Public Center in Chally on 10 November. The meeting -- involving TPC activists from Tatarstan, Moscow, and regions neighboring Tatarstan -- condemned U.S. actions in Afghanistan, calling them "wide-scale terror, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe." The TPC also accused the Russian government of "using similar practices in Chechnya." The TPC resolution adopted at the event decried "anti-Islamic hysteria, which began under the veil of antiterrorist efforts," and urged presidents Bush and Putin to stop military actions against Afghanistan and Chechnya, respectively.
Russian Media Association President To Visit Kazan
Eduard Sagalaev, president of the Russian National TV and Radio Broadcasters Association, is due to arrive in Kazan on 15 November to meet representatives of Tatarstan's media for talks on their freedoms along with legal consultations.
American Corporation To Check The Efficiency Of Its Investments In KAP
George David, general director of America's United Technologies Corp., is expected to visit the Kazan Helicopter Plant to inspect the production of Ansat and Mi-38 helicopters, which are produced with the help of United Technologies investments, KAP General Director Aleksandr Lavrentyev said on 12 November.
Tatar Publishing Turns 200
Kazan publishers marked the 200th anniversary of Tatar publishing on 12 November.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTANIndependent Russian Paper Chides Media In Bashkortostan...
The independent newspaper "Otechestvo," published in Chelyabinsk, wrote in its latest issue that Bashkortostan faced serious problems with freedom of speech. It described the current situation by saying that "republican media work hard in two main directions: promoting President Rakhimov's policies and hiding the drawbacks of life in the republic." The newspaper wrote, "State media presents Rakhimov opening schools, cultural centers, some cafes, and gas stations without any reports on entertainment centers or kindergartens shut down."
...And Hints At Growing Rivalry Between President And Prime Minister
"Otechestvo" also reported that "the recent actions of Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov show that he is trying to make separate trips to the regions of Bashkortostan and build a team among regional administration heads" to make himself a stronger rival to President Murtaza Rakhimov in a future presidential campaign.
Tatars Ask Rakhimov To Revive Nur Theater Construction
Representatives claiming to speak for the Tatar public addressed a letter to President Rakhimov asking for acceleration of the construction of a new building for the Tatar Nur Theater, which has been under construction for seven years, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 12 November. Reif Amirov, Culture Commission head at the Tatar Ethnic-Cultural Autonomy in Bashkortostan, told RFE/RL that at current levels of funding, the construction company working on the theater is unsure of finishing the project within the next decade.
Soldier's Parents Unable To Bury Their Son For Almost Two Months
Parents of 20-year-old Russian Army soldier Salavat Bayazitov, recruited in the Baymak Region in July, managed to obtain their son's body for burial more than a month after their son was killed in the Chechen Republic in September, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 12 November.
Jobless Offered Retraining Courses
Some 5,060 jobless people were recommended to train for new professions so far in 2001, Bashkortostan's employment services reported on 12 November.
Travkin's Democratic Party Of Russia Opens Branch In Ufa
Russia's Democratic Party has launched its own representation in Bashkortostan, Bashiform reported on 12 November.
Ufa Produces Food For Russian Army
Russia's Armed Forces placed a major order for cheese and butter that can be stored at the room temperature for about a year with Ufamolagroprom Co. in Bashkortostan's capital, Bashkir State TV reported on 12 November.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi