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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 3, 1999

3 February 1999
Mukhametshin On 1998, Prolongation Of Tatarstan-Russia Treaty
Farid Mukhametshin, the chairman of Tatarstan's State Council, said on 2 February that the parliament's activity last year is unsatisfactory because it failed to create a legislative basis for Tatarstan's state sovereignty. Mukhametshin said he is referring mainly to laws on the Cabinet of Ministers, on the Constitutional Court, on the judicial system, and on legislation providing for land reform. On negotiations in Moscow for a prolongation of the interstate treaty between Kazan and Moscow, Mukhametshin said "I'm sure it will be prolonged. We based Tatarstan's 1999 budget on that treaty, and we don't want to cancel the figures that were adopted." The inter-budget agreement will reportedly be signed on 5 February.

Ceremonies Set To Mark 5th Anniversary Of Tatar-Russian Treaty
A conference devoted to the fifth anniversary of the power-sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia will be held in Kazan on 10 February. Officials from Moscow, St. Petersburg, regions within Russia, the CIS, and foreign countries (including Quebec) are scheduled to participate. Sergei Shakhrai and Ramazan Abdulatipov, Russian politicians that led talks with Tatarstan during the preparation of the treaty, have also been invited. Additionally, a press-conference and reception at Tatarstan's permanent mission in Moscow devoted to the fifth anniversary of the treaty are to be led by Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev this month, Tatar radio and television reported. The 1994 treaty is the main document regulating relations between Tatarstan and Russia.

Shaimiev Named Russia's Most Diplomatic Leader
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev has been named Russia's most diplomatic leader for 1998, as rated by "Profile" magazine. Shaimiev came out on top of a poll involving some 200 editor in chiefs and journalists from leading Russian media asked to select the most influential politicians and businessmen in Russia. Those polled were asked to take into account such criteria as prestige, ability to influence a situation in the country, popularity abroad, success in business, and the ability to act resolutely in extreme situations.

Soros To Fund Monitoring Of Human Rights Among Tatarstan's Media
The Open Society Fund headed by American philanthropist George Soros will finance a project that will monitor Tatarstan's media. The project was initiated by the Human Rights Protection Committee of Tatarstan. The project will monitor the degree in which Tatarstan's media protects and promotes human rights. The analysis will be done by experts from well-known journalist and human rights organizations, Tatar radio reported.

Trade Turnover Sharply Decreases
Officials from Tatarstan's Customs Board said on 2 February that the republic's exports and imports were 150 percent lower last year compared to 1997. The Board said at a press conference that trade turnover in 1998 was $1.4 billion last year. The main exports included oil and oil products, synthetic rubber, and aircraft. Mechanical engineering products were Tatarstan's largest import.

Tatarstan's Communist Party Of Bolsheviks To Contest Elections
The leaders of Tatarstan's Communist Party of Bolsheviks said at a press conference on 2 February that they will participate in elections to the republican State Council and the Russian State Duma. The party was founded after a split among Tatarstan's Communists and was officially registered earlier this month. The Bolsheviks' claim to have 3,500 members as well as a youth wing. The main goal of the party is a "bloodless socialist revolution."

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova