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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 18, 2000

18 October 2000
Commission On Harmonizing Legislation Starts Work
The first meeting of the working group for bringing federal and republican legislation into harmony that was formed by the presidential representative to the Volga federal district, Sergei Kirienko, was held in Kazan on 17 October, Tatar Radio and Television reported. The meeting was attended by the federal distict's deputy representative, Aleksandr Yevstifeyev. Rafail Khakimov, a state adviser to Tatarstan�s president, said in interview with Tatar Radio that the bilateral power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Kazan will remain in force and will be taken into account by the commission during negotiations. Khakimov said this principle is Tatarstan�s main juridical and political basis.

The commission includes seven experts for each side. The federal district group representatives is headed by a lawyer, academician Vladimir Baranov, while Tatarstan�s experts are headed by State Council deputy Marat Galeyev. Tatarsan's State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, and Volga presidential representative Kirienko, signed a document in Nizhni Novgorod on 6 October titled "About consent procedures on expert activities aimed at forming a common legal space. Tatarstan's pro-Moscow opposition daily "Vechernyaya Kazan," noted on 17 October that the initial task of "bringing local legislation into conformity with federal laws" was replaced in this document with the formula of "forming common legal space." This was cited as a sign of Tatarstan's success in the negotiations. The commission will meet again in Nizhni Novgorod on 26 October.

Tatarstan Closes Rep Office In Australia
Tatarstan's plenipotentiary representation to Australia will be closed according to a decree from Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, Tatar-inform reported on 17 October. The liquidation commission headed by the trade and economic cooperation minister, Khafiz Salikhov, is holding preparatory work. An official from the presidential Foreign Relations Department, Svetlana Migacheva, told the news agency that the decision was made because of the remote location of Australia in relation to Tatarstan and the lack of significant political and economic interests for the republic "down under." At the same time, Migacheva expressed satisfaction with a statement by Vasilii Likhachev, the permanent representative of Russia to the European Union and a former parliament speaker in Kazan, made during the sovereignty anniversary celebrations in Kazan in August in which he said that Tatarstan's representative offices abroad will be maintained.

Republican President To Control Appointments Of 'Force' Chiefs In Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan's president, Murtaza Rakhimov, and Sverdlovsk Oblast Governor Eduard Rossel, criticized some aspects of the vertical power strengthening process in the Russian Federation, particularly the way in which regional branch chiefs of the security and interior bodies are appointed without consultations with territorial entity leaders, Tatar Radio reported. At a meeting of the Ural Economic Association Council in Ufa on 17 October, Rossel called such measures "wrong," arguing that governors in such conditions may not be able to cooperate with these officials. Rakhimov said he won't permit such appointments since governors have full responsibility over what is done in their regions. Rossel and Rakhimov also cited the hopeless attempts by Moscow to ruin the Ural Economic Association, the Sverdlovsk Oblast Administration press service reported. Oblasts and republics, they said, are doomed to live side-by-side, to cooperate as they have in a joint economic field. Rakhimov said he doesn't see any reason for Bashkortostan to be included in the Volga Federal District. "We aren�t going to leave Ural," he added.

By Gulnara Khasanova