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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 7, 2000

7 February 2000
Signatures Collected For Zhirinovskii, Yavlinskii
The head of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party's (LDPR) republican branch, Viktor Sidenin, told Tatar-inform on 4 February that 15,000 signatures supporting Vladimir Zhirinovskii as a candidate for the Russian presidency have been collected in Tatarstan. Sidenin said 15 party activists work full-time in the republican campaign headquarters of LDPR. He said there are some 17,000 members of LDPR in Tatarstan.

Supporters of Grigorii Yavlinskii, who is also running for the Russian presidency, collected 7,000 signatures in the republic, Tatar-inform reported on 4 February. The head of the Yabloko initiative group in Tatarstan, Rashid Akhmetov, said in an interview with the new agency that he expects the total number of signatures backing Yavlinskii to be 12,000.

Tatarstan's Population Decreases
Tatarstan's health minister, Kamil Ziyatdinov, told the ministry's board that due to a continued decrease in the birthrate and an increase in the death rate that occurred in Tatarstan's 29 districts, the republic's population decreased last year for the first time since 1969 -- by some 2,000 people. The decrease took place despite the reduction of in the rate of infant mortality, Tatar-inform reported on 4 February. He said more than 20 women die annually in Tatarstan from complications of their pregnancy -- that exceeds by 12 times the average rate in developed countries. Ziyatdinov said that HIV, hemorrhagic fever, and diseases related to drug addiction sharply grew in the last year. He said that mortality from infectious diseases rose as well in the republic. Ziyatdinov said that for the first time in several years the tuberculosis rate decreased in 1999. But he said that the cancer rate grew in 1999, when 9,140 new cases were registered, and, as a whole, every 85th resident of the republic has cancer.

Tatneft Delivers Oil Products To Arkhangelsk
Tatarstan's leading oil company, Tatneft, will deliver 70,000 tons of black oil to Arkhangelsk this month, Tatar-inform reported on 4 February. A critical situation reportedly exists in Arkhangelsk's central heating system due to a lack of fuel. The two sides agreed on a wide-ranging cooperation pact during a visit last year to Kazan by an Arkhangelsk oblast delegation headed by Governor Aleksandr Yefremov. Tatneft has already made several deliveries of oil products to the oblast.

National Cultural Autonomies Concerned With Education
The prospects for development of the national education system and proposals on state support for national-cultural autonomies were discussed at a meeting of the Russian governmental Consultative Council on Affairs of National-Cultural Autonomies, Tatar-inform reported on 4 February. The chairman of Tatarstan's National-Cultural Autonomy Council, Indus Tagirov, participated in the meeting. The Consultative Council members appealed to the Russian government to send a Russian deputy premier to head the Consultative Council. It was previously headed by Vadim Gustov.

Influence on the power sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia on solving national-cultural problems will be a top issue at a meeting of the Tatars National-Cultural Autonomy Council on 10 February in Moscow. The meeting is expected to be attended by Tatarstan parliament's speaker, Farid Mukhametshin, and members of the National-Cultural Autonomies Affairs Consultative Council.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova