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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 2, 2000

2 May 2000
Kalyuzhniy Gains Support In Bashkortostan
The daily newspaper, "Kommersant," reported on 28 April that Russian Minister of Fuel and Energy, Victor Kalyuzhniy, informed the second oil industry Congress held in Ufa about his "energy strategy" which has been developed as a counterweight to Anatoly Chubais' energy industry restructuring program. According to "Kommerstant," "many of Chubais' rivals acknowledged that his restructuring program was viable." Nevertheless Kalyuzhniy spoke against the "total sale of an energy system" proposed by Russian United Energy Systems chief, Chubais. The minister's speech was greeted with applause at the Ufa conference. "Kommersant" reported that Kalyuzhniy promised to use "all possible levers of governmental influence on the companies" to assist oil processing plants in Bashkortostan run at full capacity. The daily surmised that Kalyuzhniy's pledge had gained him strong support from Bashkortostan in his efforts to gain a post in the future Russian government.

Shaimiev Visits Alabuga
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, visited Alabuga, Tatarstan on 2nd May, the RFE\RL Kazan bureau reported. Shaimiev also visited the site of the YelAZ-GM joint venture which is currently beginning to produce Opel-Vectra vehicles and has been producing Chevrolet Blazers since 1997.

Anti-drug Operation Launched In Tatarstan
Tatarstan's police and internal trooops began an operation against drug trafficking in Kazan and its suburbs, the republican press reported. According to Tatarstan's Security Council, 230 kilograms of drugs were deforced in the republic in 1999. According to interior minister Asgat Safarov on 28 April drugs remain one of his ministry's main problems. In his words, drug traffickers mostly use trains and cars to reach Kazan. Yashel Uzen and Vasilyevo boroughs are reportedly the major corridors for drug trafficking to Tatarstan's capital. Militia will take special measures to control the suburban trains.

2nd May A Working Day In Bashkortostan
Although 2nd May was an official holiday in the Russian Federation, in Bashkortstan it is a regular working day. The RFE\RL correspondent in Ufa reported on 2 May that one Bashkortistan citizen recently won a law suit against the government for depriving him of a day-off. This decision was upheld but no administrative actions have followed so far.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi