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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 26, 2000

26 October 2000
Bashkortostan's President Working On Modifying Laws
Alfira Bargusova, the spokeswoman for Bashkortostan's president, said at a press conference in Ufa on 25 October that the "scandalous election for the governor's seat in Kursk Oblast did not result in a public reaction from President Murtaza Rakhimov." She said that Rakhimov "has enough other things to keep him busy." Bargusova cited the "work of the conciliation commission for harmonizing Bashkir and Russian laws is in progress" as being foremost atop the president's agenda. The Russian side of the commission is reportedly satisfied with the work of Bashkir legal experts. Bargusova referred to a statement by the deputy chief of the Russian presidential staff, Dmitri Kosak, who said: "we have no major contentions with Bashkortostan's leadership on the issues of republican and federal law adjustments and other issues."

Tatarstan's Militia Returns From North Osettia
Some 80 servicemen from Tatarstan's militia returned home on 25 October after a tour of service in North Osettia, Tatarinform agency reported. Militia officers from Chally, Tuben Kama, Elmet, Leninogorsk, and Bogelme reportedly spent two months guarding checkpoints in this Caucasian conflict zone. No losses were reported among the troops during their service.

Tax Collection Increases In Bashkortostan
The Russian Tax Ministry's board in Bashkortostan announced on 25 October that 37.3 billion rubles of taxes have been collected in the republic thus far in 2000. The sum reportedly represents 99 percent of the projected amount of taxes to be raised this year.

According to a statement by the board, Bashkortostan managed to increase the total taxes collected by 90 percent compared to the previous year. This achievement put the republic second place in tax collection among the Volga federal district entities. Tatarstan reportedly leads this category. Tatarstan is also in first place for making the largest tax payments in cash, followed by Samara and then Bashkortostan; all three entities are reducing the percentage of their taxes that are paid in goods.

Anti-Drug Symposium In Kazan Highlights Problems
The first anti-drug symposium involving experts from over 30 Russian regions began in Kazan on 25 October. The symposium is to unite the efforts of medics, militia chiefs, and Russian Duma deputies. In the conference's opening speech, Oleg Morozov, a Duma deputy representing Tatarstan and leader of the Russian Regions faction, called for "closer interaction with the Russian Duma. Otherwise, if we don't learn how to fight this evil, we will face the risk of it escalating into problems which are even hard to imagine." Tatarstan's interior minister, Asgat Safarov, issued a report on the drug situation in the republic over the last decade. He noted that "if in 1990 there were only 92 drug-related crimes registered in Tatarstan, in 1999 there were about 3,900 such crimes registered." Safarov said that "138 kilograms of drugs have been confiscated in Tatarstan so far in 2000. The estimated number of drug addicts in the republic has reached 120,000. Quite often, 14-year-old children are dying of drug overdoses."

By Iskender Nurmi