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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 6, 2000

6 November 2000
Kirienko: A Third Term For Shaimiev Is Legal, Not Political Issue
The presidential representative to the Volga Federal District, Sergei Kirienko, told RTR TV on 2 November that President Mintimer Shaimiev can run for Tatarstan's presidency if the Russian Supreme Court or the State Duma give a precise interpretation of the corresponding law since Russian legislation takes precedence. Tatarstan's Constitution, Kirienko said, doesn't contain any term restrictions, but the Russian law has one. Kirienko stressed that this is a juridical issue, not a political one. He reminded that the law which prohibits anyone from serving as the head of a territorial entity more than twice was only adopted on 6 October 1999, and no one law has a "backward force." So the question is whether it covers all presidential or gubernatorial terms completed before the law was passed or only those completed after.

Tatarstan Constructs Oil Processing Plant
Shafagat Takhautdinov, the general manager of Tatarstan's leading oil company, Tatneft, told AK and M on 3 November that some $1-1.5 billion will be allocated for the construction of the Tuben Kama oil processing plant over the next five years. Tatneft owns 63 percent of the plant. Takhautdinov said that investments this year will total some 1.5 billion rubles and that $115 million worth of equipment has already been received. Takhautdinov said that the first line of the plant producing diesel fuel with a low content of sera and aviation kerosene will go into operation by the end of next year. He said a strategic partner and investors are being looked for to construct the plant's second line, which will produce various kinds of gasoline. Takhautdinov added that there is not a plant in Russia that is specialized in processing oil that has a high sera content. The Tuben Kama plant is designed to handle the processing of 7 million tons of sulfur oil.

Tatar Public Center Calls For Volga-Ural Confederation
The presidium of Tatarstan's moderate nationalist organization the Tatar Public Center (TPC) called on the residents of Russian national republics to start creating regional confederations, Tatar Radio reported on 3 November. The appeal states that Russia has still not turned into a real federal state and remains a unitary one -- a fact that threatens the sovereignty of Tatarstan and other republics, it said. The document also criticizes Moscow's tax policy, which it says will cause trouble in the development of net donor regions. People of the Volga and Ural national republics are ready to unite into a regional confederation, the TPC appeal stated.

Tatarstan's PM To Compete In Off-Road Race
Tatarstan's prime minister, Rustam Minnikhanov, will drive in the "Challenge of the Desert" rally as a member of Tatarstan's KamAZ master team, Russian media reported on 3 November. The final race of the rally starts on 7 November in Dubai. Minnikhanov reportedly took vacation on 1 November and left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Minnikhanov is an experienced car racer and winner of numerous republican and Russian-wide competitions and championships. RIA-Novosti reported from a source close to the team that Minnikhanov will join the leading team in World Cup-2000, which is headed by Vladimir Chagin. The "KamAZ master" has won all the stages of the World Cup super-marathon races in Africa, Asia, and Europe this year, meaning that regardless of how it does in the UAE, it has already ensured of victory. Russia could become the first country in which the prime minister of one of its republics will be a world champion in the auto rally super marathon.

By Gulnara Khasanova