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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 19, 2000

19 June 2000
Russian Nationalities And Migration Minister In Kazan
Russia's nationalities and migration policy minister, Aleksandr Blokhin, visited Kazan on 16 June. He met Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, to discuss the federal government's involvement in celebrations marking the 1000th anniversary of Kazan in 2004. In a statement given at a press conference the same day, Blokhin said that the "Kazan anniversary is an event on an all-Russian scale." According to Blokhin, the Russian Foreign Ministry is working on including the anniversary celebrations in UNESCO's schedule. Concerning his duties, Blokhin stated that "frequent talk about the absence of a nationalities' policy in Russia only confirm that it [policy] actually exists. The nationalities policy concept has already been endorsed by the government; our weak point is the problem [of finding the finances for] its realization."

Shaimiev's 'Power' Rating Goes Up
The daily "Nezavisimaya gazeta" published the ratings of leading politicians in Russia on 16 June. While Russian President Vladimir Putin consistently occupies the top position in the top 100, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev moved into the 37th position, up from number 54 in the last poll. Analysts quoted by Tatarinform agency the next day said that the improved rating is a result of Shaimiev's "balanced reaction to recent measures by Vladimir Putin on [the] reorganizing of relations between the federal center and the regions."

By Iskender Nurmi