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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 12, 1999

12 February 1999
State Council Chairman Says One Treaty Still Unresolved
Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farit Mukhametshin, said negotiations between Tatarstan and the Russian Federation on the delegation of powers will be extended until 14 February. He said Tatarstan's government insisted on signing the treaties in whole, so that the one remaining treaty that is unresolved -- on interbudget relations -- will not be put off. Mukhametshin said negotiations with the federal finance ministry on the interbudget treaty were ongoing. He said negotiations should be concluded by the end of February.

Mukhametshin also commented on Tatarstan's status within the Russian Federation, saying: "The way we chose for Tatarstan five years ago was correct and peaceful. Gradually Tatarstan obtained a new status within the Russian Federation, and has developed its own economic and political systems. [Tatarstan] pushed the federal government towards a reformation of the entire Russian Federation."

Energy Rates In Tatarstan To Increase?
Prices for energy in Tatarstan may increase, following a trend in the Russian economy, Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Anvar Karimov said during a meeting of the State Council Committee of Economic Reforms and Parliamentary Control on 11 February. What was termed the "irrational consumption" of electricity and heat by industrial enterprises was also discussed at the meeting. Republican committees reported that some enterprises waste as much as 50 percent of the total amount of energy they use.

Tatarstan Unprepared For Year 2000 Problem?
The republican press reported on 12 February that Tatarstan's Ministry of Emergency Situations listed some 700 enterprises that are threatened by the millennium bug computer problem (Y2K) and are deemed dangerous to people. Correcting the problem in Tatar's chemistry and industry sectors is expected to cost between $12-15 million. The Cabinet of Ministers has established a committee for solving Y2K problems, though no update on its progress has been reported.

Afghan War Veterans Meet
A meeting devoted to the 10th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan will be held in Kazan on 15 February. Veterans of the war and relatives of those who died fighting in Afghanistan will attend the meeting. Some 10,000 veterans of the war live in Tatarstan.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi