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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 11, 2000

11 April 2000
Likhachev: Russia Should Not Be Pushed Out Of Europe
Russia's permanent representative to the European Union, Vasilii Likhachev, said on 10 April that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) should be more attentive to the states that are going through the first stage of democracy. Likhachev, Tatarstan's former vice president and speaker of its parliament, was commenting on the decision taken by PACE last week to remove the Russian delegation's right to vote and move towards suspending it from the council, Tatar-inform reported. He said these actions show that the perception of the democratic processes occurring in Russian right now is not yet mature. He said that although there are many questions ragarding Russia at the moment, the PACE decision cause a complete breakdown in relations between the two. He said many people in the West do not agree with PACE's actions and that many politicians and diplomats consider the move to expel Russia a very serious move and while they can't ignore Moscow's behavior in Chechnya, feel that PACE's decision is too harsh. Likhachev added that the decision by PACE will not negatively affect the activity of the mission he heads.

Prime Minister Meets With Russian Official And State Duma Deputies From Tatarstan
Tatarstan's prime minister, Rustam Minnikhanov, met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko in Moscow on 6 April to discuss the main principles of the federal program to develop Kazan State University over the next five years and on measures to prepare a federal program to mark Kazan's 1000th anniversary, Tatar-inform reported. Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov and the rector of Kazan State University, Yury Konoplev, participated in the meeting.

Minnikhanov also held a meeting the same day with State Duma deputies representing Tatarstan. He told them about economic development in the republic in 2000 and discussed a wide range of issues, including legislative activity in the State Duma. Minnikhanov expressed dissatisfaction with existing laws regulating the non-ferrous metals market in Russia. Deputy Oleg Morozov, who participated in the meeting, said it's necessary to quickly amend the Russian Criminal Code, and to add tougher punishments for thieves of non-ferrous metals.

The deputies also told Minnikhanov about the need to make proposals for the draft federal budget for 2001, which is already being planned. Deputy Premier and Economics and Industry Minister Sergei Kogogin along with Tatarstan's first deputy plenipotentiary representative to Russia, Mikhail Stolyarov, also took part in the meeting.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova