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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 21, 2000

21 August 2000
Tatar President Meets With Journalists
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, said in a meeting with media officials and journalists on in Kazan on 18 August that the right to be better informed has been steadily gaining since the beginning of perestroika. He said there cannot be real democracy without free information. Shaimiev analyzed the main stages the republic has gone through since adopting the Declaration of Sovereignty on 30 August 1990. He said one of the most important historical events was the signing of the power-sharing treaty with Moscow. Shaimiev stressed that Tatarstan, trying to gain maximum independence, including within the economic sphere, has never considered secession from Russia. He said that the radical steps being taken by Russian leaders to strengthen vertical power of the federation are an objective necessity and noted that Tatarstan will defend the principles of the federative democratic development of the Russian Federation. He added that during the last decade, many positive results were achieved in Tatarstan taking into account the situation the republic was in before perestroika. He said Tatarstan always had huge potential, "but it didn't belong to our people, and because of socialism, Tatarstan was below average in Russia." He said that now, for the first time, Tatarstan has become fourth within the Russian Federation in volume of production.

Tatneft And Tatenergo Agree On Black Oil Price
Tatarstan's leading oil company, Tatneft, and electricity monopoly Tatenergo agreed on the price of black oil being used to produce energy, the daily "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 18 August. Tatneft, which initially asked for 1,800 rubles a ton, agreed after consulting with Tatarstan's government to reduce the price to 1,600 rubles per ton. Due to a limit on the amount of gas delivered by the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, Tatenergo has to increase the share of more expensive black oil, which will rise from 5 to 14 percent. In July, Tatenergo had extra expenses of 50 million rubles due to the use of the black oil.

Bus From Tatarstan Collides With Truck In Orenburg Oblast
Five people died and 28 were injured when a bus driving from the Tatar town of Almet to Samara collided with a truck in the the northern part of Orenburg Oblast, Tatar-inform reported on 18 August. Both drivers were reportedly killed in the accident. Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, ordered the heads of the republic's Health Protection, Interior, and Emergency Ministries to visit the scene of the mishap to render aid and begin an investigation into the tragedy.

Bashkortostan Residents Accused Of Ties With Separatists In Turkey
Women from the Bashkir town of Salavat are suspected by Turkish officials of having connections with Turkey's Kurdish separatists because the women had sold binoculars in Turkey, the Tatar daily "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 18 August. The Russian consulate in Istanbul is reportedly taking measures that will help prove that the women were not involved in activities with the Kurds. Consul Yevgenii Levkoyev was cited as saying that the accusations are farfetched and unfounded. A representative of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ufa, Zinnur Mardanov, expressed the hope that discussions with Turkish authorities will be successful in clearing the matter up.

By Gulnara Khasanova