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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 12, 2000

12 May 2000
Shaimiev Comments On Kasyanov And Relations With Moscow
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told the press on 11 May that the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to appoint Mikhail Kasyanov to head the government was not a surprise for anyone. Shaimiev said that the recent work of the government speaks positively for the acting premier. Shaimiev said it is unlikely that radical changes in the government will be made. He said the government should resolve strategic issues rather than be engaged in management problems. He said the Tax Code -- which will lower taxes -- should be finished and added that customs regulations need to be developed regarding the export and import of goods and that rules for both foreign and domestic investments should be created.

Commenting on the relations between Moscow and Kazan, Shaimiev said "we agreed in principle that Tatarstan is ready to join the common Russian economic space, including budget legislation. I think by 2001 our budget will be formed in the framework of the Russian Budget Law" and Tatarstan will lose its tax breaks. But Shaimiev said that in exchange federal programs will be carried out in Tatarstan. He added that the republican authorities -- together with the Russian government -- should confirm by July a list of federal programs for Tatarstan.

Since 1994, Tatarstan based its budget relations with Moscow on the interbudget agreement, which was an application of the power-sharing treaty between Russia and Tatarstan.

Tatar Nationalists Protest Increase In Water Level At Reservoir
The Tatar Public Center (TPC), Tatarstan�s nationalist organization, released an appeal on 11 May to protest the planned rising of the water level at the Tuben Kama reservoir, Tatar Radio and Television reported. The appeal states that "the plan to raise the water level was dictated by Russian energy monopolies and doesn�t correspond to the interests of the republic�s citizens. Tatarstan�s state and executive bodies couldn�t solve energy problems using modern methods, and it seems that republican officials will raise and lower the water level at the Tuben Kama reservoir not only with an order from Moscow but also according to relations with Mr. Vyakhirev and Mr. Chubais." The TPC argues that the measure will cause destruction to the environment. It says that such vital projects should be discussed openly and with the participation of leading specialists before being decided upon.

The 62 meter level of the reservoir is scheduled to be raised by 6 meters. Tatarstan�s ecologists have not made any statements on the issue.

Interior Body Official Imprisoned For Bribery And Corruption
The former head of the Kazan Soviet District Interior Department, Ildus Gumarov, was sentenced on 10 May to four years imprisonment, Tatar Television reported. Tatarstan�s Supreme Court issued a guilty verdict against Gumarov for taking a bribe, swindling, and the misuse of power from 1996-1999 when he headed the Soviet Interior Department. Since 1999, Gumarov has served as a head of the investigation department at Kazan�s other District Interior Department. Gumarov's sentence is the lightest possible; the maximum was 10 years.

Desertion Rate Rises In Tatarstan
Officials from the Military Prosecutor�s Office reported at a news conference on 11 May on a seasonal rise in desertion from the armed forces. They said 53 deserters are currently being sought in Tatarstan. Lack of discipline in the Russian army was cited as a main reason for the trend.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova