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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 28, 2000

28 December 2000
UNESCO Puts Kazan Kremlin on Monuments List
UNESCO has presented Kazan with a special gold medal in recognition of that body's decision to include the Kazan Kremlin on its list of specially protected historical monument,s Tatar-inform reported on 27 December. UNESCO's Vladimir Royter also said that Kazan's promotion of the cause of peace through the creation of the movement "Kazan is a Culture of Peace City" was helping to fulfill the international organization's goals this year.

Tatarstan Leads Volga Federal District in Manufacturing
Trade and Economic Cooperation Minister Khafiz Salikhov said on 27 December that Tatarstan leads the Volga Federal District in industrial production, Tatar-inform reported. He noted that the republic provides 20 percent of the District's total output. In other comments, he reported that Tatarstan is second in the Federal District in terms of retail trade growth.

Tatneft May Develop Moscow Market
Tatneft general manager Shafagat Takhautdinov on 27 December denied reports that his company owns shares of Moscow oil processing plant (MNPZ) but he would not exclude further participation in its capital, Moscow's "Vremya novostei" reported. The daily had reported that 40 percent of MNPZ shares belong to Tatarstan's petrol company and LukOIL. Nonetheless, Tatneft is one of the main oil suppliers at Moscow plant providing it with 37 percent of raw materials. The company also owns some 80 filling stations in the Moscow region and plans to increase that number to 190 next year. Takhautdinov said that Taneft had invested 1.5 billion rubles into filling stations construction current year and will keep this volume in 2001.

Per Minute Telephone Charges Spark Protest
Several Kazan public organizations on 26 December agreed to form a movement to fight by-minute telephone charge, Tatar-inform reported. Participants argued that the new payment system introduced in the republic capital on 15 December violates consumer rights since it also includes a fee for servicing equipment in addition to the new per minute charges. The group, which embraces veterans and others, plans protests, court appeals, and presentations to the republic parliament.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Ramadan's End Marked in Bashkortostan
Muslims in Bashkortostan had the day off to celebrate the Uraza holiday marking the end of Ramazan on 27 December. Mufti Talgat Tajetdin, the head of the Moslem Religious Board in Russia Talgat Tajetdin, led prayers in Ufa's Lyalya Tulpan mosque. That service was broadcast by ORT across the Russian Federation. Bashkortostan Muslim leader Nurmukhammet Khazret, the republic's President Murtaza Rakhimov, and Ufa mayor Reuf Nugmanov sent their greetings as did Russian President Vladimir Putin, Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev and other Moscow officials.

Health Conditions Deteriorate in Northwest Bashkortostan
Prof. Zakia Teregulova, a professor at Bashkortostan Medical University, said on 26 December that there had been a serious decline in the health of people in the northwestern section of the republic largely because of high levels of pollution. That region has extraction plants that currently contaminate the soil with cadmium and chrome.

By Iskender Nurmi