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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 15, 2000

15 February 2000
Shaimiev Comments On Power-Sharing Treaty As Anniversary Marked
On the sixth anniversary of the power-sharing treaty between the Russian and Tatar governments on 15 February, Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev was interviewed by "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" and the Novosti news agency. Shaimiev said that "the treaty was signed when there were no treaties of this kind in Russia, and even now none of the federation subjects have the same delegation of powers as we have." Concerning inherent contradictions between the constitutions of Russia and Tatarstan, Shaimiev said that when the treaty was signed the republic "already had its constitution and Russia did not."

Shaimiev said this was the reason for some contradicting articles in the two constitutions, but he added that both documents were based on common sense. Shaimiev said that Russia needed strong government, but strong government didn't mean limiting people's rights. A strong Russia cannot be made up of weak regions, that's why the federal government is drowning in "current issues" brought up by regional leaders who cannot cope with their own situations, even though they have signed power-sharing treaties with Moscow. Tatarstan's president spoke in favor of an "asymmetric federation," because "it was founded by article 5 in the Russian Constitution which says that republics are considered as states within the Russian Federation and krais and oblasts were not."

Tatneft To Operate In Kalmykia, Mongolia
Tatarstan's Tatneft oil company will participate in a tender competition for the right to explore oil and gas deposits in three areas of Kalmikyia, the company's representatives told the AK&M agency on 15 February. Tatneft reportedly also intends to explore and mine gold deposits in Mongolia. It is currently holding negotiations with possible private Mongolian partners.

Tatspirtprom Boosts Production
Tatarstan's major alcohol producer, Tatspirtprom, will produce 8 million decaliters of alcohol in 2000 and sell 3 million decaliters to companies outside the republic, the republican press announced on 15 February. According to General-Director Rashid Shaikhutdinov, the company boosted production by 36 percent in 1999 comparing to 1998. This allowed for a fourfold boosting of exports outside the republic and the resetting of the average monthly salary at the firm to 1,850 rubles.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi