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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 19, 2000

19 December 2000
Parliament Considers Budget, Rejects Presidential Election Amendments
Tatarstan's State Council on 18 December discussed possible changes to the draft republic budget and amendments to the presidential elecitons act, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reported. The Council rejected a proposed amendment to the latter abollishing the requirement that candidates for president know both state languages.

According to the State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin "there will be no amendments made to the presidential elections act before the next elections," in March-April 2001.

Tatar Public Organizations Hold Meeting In Chally
Several Tatar public organizations assembled on Azatliq Square in Chally on 17 December in support of the Tatarstan Constitution, RFE\RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reported. Speakers from the Tatar Public Center, Ittifaq, Horriyat and Tatar teachers Union said that their "main goal" as economic self-sufficiency. They condemned the federal policy of increasing the share of tax money taken from the regions. Other participants complained about official oppression of Islam under the slogans of struggle against Wahhabism and Chechen militants. The meeting adopted a resolution specifying that Tatarstan Republic should base its relations with Moscow on the power sharing treaty signed in 1994.

The leaders of the organizations involved are expected to meet in the Chally militia headquarters on 20 December to share responsibility for arranging this unsanctioned event. But Horriyat deputy head Nail Vildanov said that this colleagues also intend to sue the city administration because it forced them to act in this way. Tatar Public Center in Chally chairman Rafis Kashapov told Tatarinform that the local State Security Committee had expressed his unhappiness about the meeing.

Shaimiev Attends Public Transport Presentation Ceremony
Tatarstan president Mintimer Shaimiev attended a ceremony in which 20 city buses and one electric passenber train purchased by the republic were handed over to transport officials of the republic's regions. Shaimiev noted that "this isn't the first event of this kind" but that he was pleased to participate in it anyway.

Minnikhanov Confirms Future Federal Assistance In Bridge Construction
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov told Tatarinform on 18 December that the new Russian budget allots 500 million rubles for completing construction of a bridge at Sayeskan tau-Murzikha. Tatarstan began the bridge several years ago on its own by producing the necessary parts at Yashel Uzen shipyard and building the trestlework. The construction is considered to be strategically important for Tatarstan's economic development.

By Iskender Nurmi

Bashkir Parliament Proceeds With Legislation Adjustment Activities
Bashkortostan's State Assembly held a special session on 18 December to discuss the current development of the legislation adjustment process between the republic and the federal center, Bashkir united presidential press service reported. Also in attendance were senior republic officials and the chief federal inspector in BR Rustem Khamitov.

Rakhimov's Meeting With Olympic, Paraolympic Medallists Recalls Soviet-Era President Murtaza Rakhimov met the republic's Olympic and Paraolympic medallists on 18 December, republic media reported. The chairman of the republic's state committee on sport and tourism Vladimir Samorodov called the achievements of Bashkir athletes in Sydney "practical results of the republic's declaration of sovereignty. Since the adoption of republic's declaration of sovereignty a decade ago, sportsmen from BR have represented Russia in the Olympic and Paraolympic games for 69 times and won 25 gold, 12 silver and 8 bronze medals. Samorodov said that these results were "founded on the wise policy of Bashkir government," because "it was hard to train professional athletes especially in the Urals."

Bashkortostan Seeks International Credit Rating
A Bashkir government delegation led by PM Rafael Baydavletov visited London on 11-14 December to discuss the current issues in servicing the loan agreement of Bashkortostan's government, HSBC Bank and Moscow Narodny Bank Ltd., republic media reported. The group also met the representatives of Moody's and Standart&Poors agencies to discuss Bashkortostan's chances of obtaining an international credit rating.� The agencies agreed to send their experts to the republic.

State Officials, Youth Organizations Gather in Ufa
A forum on "Bashkortostan's Youth to 21st Century" was held on 16-17 December, RFE\RL correspondent reporte. The event was dedicated to summing up the results of the BR's Youth Year. Government officials and members of the republic youth organizations discussed ways for providing more social support to the young.

By Iskender Nurmi