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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 27, 2001

27 November 2001
Trade Unions, Industry, And Government Extend Tripartite Agreement
Representatives of the Tatarstan government, trade unions, and employers' associations on 26 November extended for three years their general agreement on employees' social rights and guarantees. The government, the Trade Unions Federation, the Industrial Companies Association, and the Chamber of Trade and Industry were all parties to the deal. Noting that in the past the tripartite has been negotiated on an annual basis, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said "the sides have matured enough to work with long-term agreements."

The document envisages that by 2003, the average worker's monthly salary in Tatarstan will total 5,000 rubles ($167), a roughly 67 percent increase on the current average of about 3,000 rubles ($100). The deal also includes government obligations to support domestic industry, including agriculture.

New Tatar Political Movement Won't Join Merger Of Russian Centrist Parties
Ferit Mukhametshin, the Tatarstan State Council's chairman and the leader of Tatarstan-New Century (TNC) said on 26 November that, "Although the TNC positively assessed the merger of the Unity, Fatherland, and All Russia parties, it would [be] hasty to join the merger in order to preserve its political self-sufficiency."

The TNC movement is also led by Tatarstan's presidential adviser on political issues, Rafael Khakimov.

Government Concerned With Growing Thefts From Tatneft
Senior Tatarstan officials left for Elmet on 27 November to hold a special meeting devoted to numerous attempts to steal oil from Tatneft pipelines. It has been estimated that such thefts have cost the company 16 million rubles ($535,000) in damages this year.

Tatarstan Interested In Alternative Army Service
Nizhnii Novgorod Mayor Yuri Lebedev said on 26 November that Tatarstan's government had asked him for details of Nizhnii's experience with alternative civil service, which enables conscripts to work in hospitals rather than join the army, reported.

Chally Housing Service Could Suffer From Huge Shortfall In 2002...
The Chally Housing Board's chief, Yakov Geller, said on 26 November that local janitors, plumbers, and employees of other city services "would possibly get no reward for their work" in 2002 because of a looming budget shortfall. He noted predictions of a 62 percent gap in the housing services budget, which is to get only 608 million rubles ($20.3 million) instead of an expected 1.6 billion rubles ($53.5 million).

...While Power Suppliers Pressure On Major Debtors
Tatenergo power and heating company has sued a number of families in Chally for non-payment of electricity bills in the last several years, Efir-Inform reported on 26 November. To retrieve debts totaling over 10,000 rubles [$334] in each case, Tatenergo has demanded that the debtors' apartments be sold at auction.

Thousands Reported Residing In Kazan Without Registration
Kazan interior bodies said in connection with preparations for the upcoming national census that some 20,000 people reside in Tatarstan's capital without registration, Tatar-inform reported on 27 November.

President Shaimiev Departs For Germany
President Mintimer Shaimiev left for Dusseldorf, Germany, on 26 November for talks with the BASF chemical concern on possible industrial cooperation. Germany has been Tatarstan's biggest foreign trade partner in recent years, purchasing various types of processed oil.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Human Rights Activist Offered Emigration After Attacks
Human rights activist Rafika Aminova told RFE/RL on 26 November that after the her car was blown up and her husband run over by an unidentified vehicle, human rights organizations from China and Norway offered her family chances to leave Russia. Aminova appears to have refused the offers and pledged to resume her attempt to establish a human rights organization in the republic.

President Orders Draft Law On Housing Aid To Young Families
President Murtaza Rakhimov endorsed a decree on extraordinary state support to young families in Bashkortostan on 26 November. The decree obliges the republic's government to elaborate a draft law on long-term, no-interest housing loans to families under 30 "to improve the demographic situation" in the republic.

Bashneftekhim Remains Strong Within Russian Oil Processing Industry
Bashneftekhim processed 17.6 million tons of oil in the first 10 months of 2001, an amount exceeded only by the LUKoil refineries, Interfax reported on 26 November.

Bashkir Scientists Invent New Method Of Oil Processing...
A professor from Ufa State Oil Technical University, Safa Akhmetov, said on 26 November that his research team has invented a method that allows the 100 percent processing of oil. Russian technology currently allows for the processing of about 67 percent of raw crude.

...While Other Inventions From Ufa Attract Worldwide Interest
U.S.-based General Motors Corporation has expressed interest in a new engine that uses water in place of motor oil and is the creation of Ufa Aviation University scientists, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 26 November.

Danish Diplomats Visit Ufa
A delegation led by the Danish ambassador to Moscow, Lars Vising, arrived in Ufa on 26 November to meet the Bashkir president, the heads of the republic's cabinet and parliament, and get acquainted with major industries in Bashkortostan, Bashinform reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi