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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 8, 1999

8 January 1999
Tatarstan Tries To Regulate Interbudget Relations With Russia
Interbudget relations between Tatarstan and Russia for the 1998-1999 financial year were discussed by Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev and Russian Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov on 10 January in Moscow. The two sides also considered the possibilities for restructuring the debts of the KamAZ truck concern (see below), the presidential press center reported. Interbudget relations have been regulated since 1994 on the basis of the bilateral agreement between Tatarstan and Russia, the terms of which will expire in February.

Agreement Near Between Tatarstan And Russia On KamAZ
An agreement between the governments of Tatarstan and Russia on restructuring the debts of the KamAZ truck concern is expected to be signed this week. First Deputy Prime Minister Ravil Muratov agreed to the prepared draft agreement in a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov and Economics Minister Andrei Shapovalyants in Moscow last week, Tatar state radio reported.

Industrial Production Growth Continues In Tatarstan
Industrial production in Tatarstan continues to grow for the fourth straight year, Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev told Tatar radio on 8 January. "After last August, I started doubting whether Tatarstan will be able to surpass the 1997 production volumes, but we have finished 1998 with an index of more than 100 percent," Shaimiev said. In his opinion, the main problem today is to help manufacturers of domestic goods. "We considered � lowering the taxes," he continued. "I think that oil industry and oil chemistry workers will exceed the 1998 results in 1999," Shaimiev added. He also noted that positive changes were observed at KamAZ in the last two months, and that in 1999 KamAZ should achieve even greater results.

Defense Industry Enterprises To Become Tatarstan's Property
Several defense industry enterprises may become the property of Tatarstan in the near future, Tatar state radio reported. The Kazan Air Industrial Association and the Yeshel Uzen Sergo plant are among the concerns in question. The transfer is reported to be under consideration due to unspecifiec political and economic reasons.

Bashkortostan Authorities Try To Forbid Tatar Public Center
The Ufa Kirov district court has decided to liquidate Bashkortostan's Tatar Public Center (TPC). The appeal for this action was sent to the court by the republic's Justice Ministry. The court's decision was reportedly based on an alleged appeal to secede from Bashkortostan made by a part of the republic populated mainly by Tatars as well as a call to overthrow Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov as stated at a conference organized by the TPC in May 1998. The other reason for the court's decision was the fact that the TPC stood up against the draft law on languages, adopted by the Bashkortostan State Assembly on first reading in December. Under the draft law, only the Bashkir and Russian languages receive the status of state language, even though the Tatar population of the republic is 1.5 times greater than the Bashkir population.

Bashkortostan Tatar Public Center Chairman Zagir Khakimov told a Tatar radio correspondent that the TPC did not organize the conference, and said the issue on secession from the republic was discussed in a theoretical aspect, within the framework of the idea to create an Idel-Ural republic. The appeals were made not to overthrow Rakhimov but simply not to vote for him during the president elections last year, Khakimov said. In Khakimov's opinion, the attempt to liquidate TPC has been undertaken to remove one of the republic's largest political organizations from participating in the elections to the State Assembly of the republic in March. Speaking about the position of the Tatar authorities concerning the current situation in Bashkortostan, Tatar radio quoted Tatarstan State Council chairman Farid Mukhametshin as saying that Tatar should be one of Bashkortostan's state languages.

Compiled by G. Khasanova