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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 20, 2001

20 December 2001
Tatneft Director Unveils 'Secrets' Of Oil-Powered Budget's Stability...
Speaking at a press conference in Elmet on 19 December, Tatneft General Director Shafagat Takhautdinov said he doubts that "a slump in world oil prices below $20 per barrel would influence Tatarstan's budget." He said the budget was estimated according to unrealistically low oil output figures. Meanwhile, Tatneft composed its own budget according to a price of $14 per barrel in order to prevent risks due to market fluctuations.

...And Names His Company's Contractors In The Passing Year
Tatneft General Director Takhautdinov added that, aside from this year's exports, his company delivered 7 million tons for processing to Tuben Kama oil and chemicals company. Tatneft also supplied 300,000 tons of oil per month to the Ukrtatnafta joint Tatar-Ukrainian oil processing plant, 250,000-350,000 tons per month to a Moscow oil refining plant, 50,000-100,000 tons per month to the Norsi Oil factory in Nizhnii Novgorod, and 200,000-300,000 tons per month to oil-processing ventures in Bashkortostan.

Kazan City Council Shocked By Vast Budget Gap
A special Kazan City Council body convened on 19 December to consider the draft city budget for 2002. Deputies expressed surprise that the draft document contained a deficit of 1 billion rubles (over $3 million), despite recent statements by city government officials, including Mayor Kamil Iskhakov, stressing that there would be no shortfall in next year's city budget. According to some of the deputies during the meeting, those responsible for composing the draft simply "forgot" to include costs for city police, and the reconstruction of hospitals and heating stations.

Parliament Decides On What Residents Should Eat And Wear
Tatarstan's State Council convened on 19 December to consider a draft law setting out a "consumer basket," which represents essential consumer goods and food per capita. The list is used for calculating the subsistence wage in the republic and is used to determine appropriate state salaries, pensions and social supports. Next year's consumer basket is to contain more expenditures on clothes, while some deputies argued that the cost of residents' medication should also be included.

KamAZ Plans To Increase Production In 2001
A KamAZ shareholders meeting approved the concern's business plan for 2002 on 19 December. General Director Ivan Kostin told reporters the same day that KamAZ plans to expand its presence on Russia's auto market by 1 percent and gain 47 percent of the market by increasing production by 18 percent and selling 24 billion rubles' ($300 million) worth of trucks, small vehicles, and spare parts.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Putin Meets With Muslim Leaders
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the recent celebration of the Muslim Eid Fetr holiday in Russia demonstrated the country's multi-ethnic and multi-faith unity, Interfax reported on 17 December. His comments came at a meeting with Russia's Muslim leaders. Putin said Muslim leaders make a significant contribution to strengthening this unity, adding that state bodies do not provide enough support for Russia's traditional faiths.

Talgat Tadjuddin, the supreme mufti of Russia and the European countries of the CIS, said less traditional religions get much more support in Russia, including financial assistance, while Muslim mosques sometimes are unable to pay for municipal services.

President Says Small Business Support For State
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 19 December called small businesses a boon to the economy of any state, alongside oil and gas, the press service of Bashkortostan's representative to Moscow reported. Rakhimov said Bashkortostan's authorities have developed a republican program to promote small businesses in 2002 and plan to establish a new business center in Ufa.

Bashkortostan Enlistment Body Leads Volga-Ural Military District
Bashkortostan's Enlistment Office was rated first among 20 territorial entities in the Volga-Ural military district, district troop commander General Colonel Aleksandr Baranov said in a cable he sent to republican President Murtaza Rakhimov. Baranov praised the attention Rakhimov pays to the Russian military, the presidential press service reported on 19 December.

Bashkortostan Speaker Elected Russian Kick-Boxing Federation President
State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev was elected president of the Russia-wide Kick-Boxing Federation, a newly created branch of the World Kick-Boxing Association, Bashinform reported on 19 December. Representatives of Russia's 60 regions helped found the sports federation.

Bashkir Forum Held In Kurgan Oblast
A Bashkir congress opened in Safakulevo Raion in Kurgan Oblast to discuss the maintenance and development of Bashkir culture, language, and traditions, Ural-Press-Inform reported on 18 December. A delegation from Bashkortostan led by the Bashkir World Congress leader, Niyaz Mazhitov, is taking part in the forum. Kurgan Governor Oleg Bogomolov sent his greetings to congress participants and wished them success in developing the Bashkir nation. Roughly 8,000 of the oblast's 18,000 Bashkirs reside in Safakulevo Raion. The press secretary of Bashkortostan's permanent mission to Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Tyumen, and Sverdlovsk oblasts, Kamsa Murtazin, told Bashinform on 18 December that Bashkirs in Kurgan Oblast need Bashkortostan to provide Bashkir language teachers for local communities.

The same day, a Bashkir and Tatar cultural center opened in Safakulevo with the support of the oblast's culture and art committee, the Bashkir World Congress, and the Tatar World Congress. The body is charged with coordination of state and public bodies' efforts to revive Turkic cultures.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova