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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 4, 2000

4 February 2000
Shaimiev Meets With Russian, Foreign Officials
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, held meetings with Russian and foreign officials on 3 February in Moscow, Tatar Radio reported. Shaimiev discussed the political situation in the country with the head of the Russian presidential administration, Aleksandr Voloshin. Shaimiev met with Ingush President Ruslan Aushev for talks on various issues of the federative system in Russia and the situation in the North Caucasus. Trade and economic cooperation between Tatarstan and Japan was the main issue at Shaimiev's meeting with the Japanese ambassador to Russia, Minoru Tambo.

Tatar Public Center Blames Aleksii II For Bloodshed
The Chally branch of Tatarstan's opposition nationalist organization, the Tatar Public Center (TPC), sent a telegram to the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church criticizing Patriarch Aleksii II for his call for Moscow to pursue the Chechen war until a final victory, Tatar-inform reported on 3 February. The letter states that instead of words about "love thy neighbor and peace," a call for violence was made. The note says that history will not forget blood of innocent children shed upon the call of the priest who spoke on behalf of the hole Orthodox Church. The TPC says those who die in the war are not bandits but people defending their mosques, cities and villages, parents and children. The telegram says "you should respect the sensibilities of 20 million Russian Muslims and think how they receive this war call."

Tatarstan Communists Collect Signatures For Zyuganov
Tatarstan's communists collected 10,000 signatures supporting their candidate for the Russian presidency, Gennadii Zyuganov, Tatar-inform reported on 3 February. The news agency cited the editor of communist newspaper "Slovo kommunista," Valentina Kozlova, as saying that 2,000-3,000 more signatures are expected to be added soon. Tatarstan's communists reportedly hope to collect a total of 15,000 signatures by 5 February for Zyuganov -- two times as many as expected by the party's leadership. Tatarstan's communists will sum up the results of the group's activities on 12 February when they will discuss strategy and tactics for the election campaign.

Number Of AIDS Carriers Increases
The number of people in Tatarstan infected by the immunodeficiency virus known as HIV increased by 10 percent in the last month and is now some 330 persons, Tatar-inform reported on 3 February. An official from the republican AIDS Center told the news agency that 316 of those infected were natives of the republic while 14 arrived in Tatarstan already diagnosed with the virus. Some 270 are intravenous drug users. More than a half of the virus carriers are residents of Tatarstan's second city Chally.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova