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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 29, 2000

29 December 2000
Tatenergo To Become Joint-Stock Company Eventually
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 28 December came out in support of transforming Tatenergo into a joint stock company once economic conditions improve, Tatar-inform reported. He said that the company's debts meant that if this step were taken now, companies like Gazprom which hold some of this debt would undoubtedly acquire large blocks of shares and Tatarstan could lose its energy system. Once conditions imiprove, he said, Tatenergo can begin transforming into joint-stock company.

Shaimiev Again Calls for Changes in Federal Laws
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 28 said that federal laws should be changed alongside those of the regions and that some rights of the entities should be protected from federal intrusion. Russian prosecutors should have the right to protest not only regional laws but federal legislation as well, he said, noting that such federal legislation interferes with the regions.

Draft Federal Law on Political Parties 'Not Very Democratic'
Republican Party leader Mukhammat Sabirov on 28 December called the new federal draft law on political parties "not very democratic" because of its requirement that parties have branches in over half of Russia's regions, Tatar-inform reported. He argued that the law should allow the formation of regional parties in federation entities. Meanwhile, the head of National Independence party Ittifaq Fauziya Bairamova backed the draft law as a whole but expressed concern as to whether it permits creation of regional parties and the fixing of their national identity. If not, she said, federation entities should adopt their own laws to allow such parties. Tatarstan Communist Party member Nikolai Korobkov favored the draft law but expressed the hope that regional parties will be also permitted.

Tatarstan to Introduce New Passports in Three Months
Tatarstan's passport-visa service on 27 December said that it will issue Russian passports to the republic's residents in three months. The exact format of the new documents is to be confirmed by the republic cabinet by 15 February.

IOC Presents Award to Shaimiev
The International Olympic Committee on 28 December decorated President Mintimer Shaimiev for his contributions to the Olympic movement, Tatar-inform reported. Olympic officials said that Tatarstan has created among the best Olympic traditions in Russia.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Russian Prosecutors Office Criticizes Bashkortostan Constitution
Bashkortostan parliament on 28 December discussed complaints by the office of the Russian prosecutor concerning 55 paragraphs of the newly amended constitution, RIA-Novosti reported. Among the office's criticisms as violating federal norms were issues of sovereignty, language requirements, and the existence of two state languages. It also objected to the president's right to pardon criminals, the ways in which the republic parliament is formed, the election of judges, and admission to government service. Parliamentary deputies said that they had heard such complaints before. Speaker Konstantin Tolkachev called on the federal authorities to "accept the legislation of territorial entities as part of the national, intellectual, and legal wealth of the Russian Federation," adding that both sides should work toward harmonization. The lower chamber's Legislation Committee head Marat Kharisov protested what he called "an economic conspiracy" by Russian oligarchs who want to "establish influence over Bashkortostan oil processing plants."

Trade With CIS States Declines
Bashkortostan Deputy Foreign Relations and Trade Minister Ulfat Yumaguzin said on 28 December that trade turnover with the CIS countries, among them the republic main partners Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Belarus, andKyrgyzstan had fallen twofold over past years, Bashinform reported. He said that there is no coordination in economic cooperation, no equal guarantees for industrial production, and no cooperation among banks.

Government Seeks to Improve Medical Treatment of the Young�
The cabinet on 28 December approved a 350-million ruble republic program designed to improve the diagnostics and treatment of children over the next five years, Bashinform reported. The presidential press service said that the document calls for the development of new facilities and the introduction of modern medical technologies.

�And The Elderly
A hospice opened on 28 December in Bashkortostan's Abzelil district, Bashinform reported. District deputy head Azat Akhtyamov said that the new 25-bed facility will provide elderly people and invalids with all kinds of treatment and surgical intervention.

By Gulnara Khasanova