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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 17, 1999

17 February 1999
Tatar Representative's Building Damaged In Tashkent
Tatarstan's permanent mission in Uzbekistan was slightly damaged as a result of a series of explosions in Tashkent on 16 February, Tatar-inform reported. None of the employees were injured. Though a curfew was not introduced in the capital, Tatarstan's plenipotentiary representative, Umida Sabirova, ordered employees to stay off the streets after sundown.

Prime Minister Comments On Interbudget Talks
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said in an interview with Tatar radio and television on 16 February that the Tatar government is still working with the Russian side for an extension of the bilateral interbudget agreement. Tatarstan's delegation held several meetings with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Vadim Gustov, the last on 15 February. Minnikhanov said Tatarstan has developed three variants of interbudget relations, while the Russian side introduced its own proposal. Minnikhanov said "I think we will make progress and then sign a package of documents all at once." If Kazan fails to agree with Moscow on the interbudget relations agreement, the republic's budget deficit may increase by 20 percent.

KamAZ's Creditors Intend To Declare It Bankrupt
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Russia's Vneshtorgbank, major creditors of the KamAZ truck concern, announced that they intend to declare KamAZ bankrupt, republican media reported. The creditor also refused to participate in the conversion of KamAZ's debts into shares of stock. The chairman of the KamAZ board of directors, Ravil Muratov, accused the concern's general director, Ivan Kostin, of a breakdown in negotiations on restructuring the KamAZ debt, the daily "Vremya i Dengi" reported. Muratov said a foreign manager should be appointed to direct KamAZ.

Official: Tatarstan Satisfied With New Russian Passport
The State Council chairman of Tatarstan, Farid Mukhametshin, said at a press conference in Moscow on 15 February that Tatar authorities are satisfied with a new version of the Russian passport that the Russian government has proposed. Mukhametshin said "we are not going to issue our own identity document." He said passports issued in the national republics will contain an extra first page that will duplicate -- in the native language of the respective republic -- the data on the first page of the standard passport, including an entry for nationality.

In November 1997, Tatarstan's State Council decided to stop issuing the new passports on republican territory to protest the fact that the new identity documents were only in Russian and contained no space for nationality or republican citizenship.

Human Rights Monitoring To Study Tatarstan's Legislation
The Human Rights Committee of Tatarstan began an analysis of republican laws and bills addressing human rights. The study is part of a project called: "The Republic of Tatarstan: Monitoring its Legislation," which is supported by the American fund "Eurasia," Tatar-inform reported. More than ten laws and bills will be checked to determine how they conform to international law. Among those to be studied are the republic's constitution, a draft law on citizenship, a law on the defense of consumers' rights, and draft laws on Tatarstan's representative for human rights. Afterwards, a seminar will be held in Kazan at which Russia's representative for human rights, members of the Moscow Helsinki Group, and human rights organizations from various Russian regions will attend.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova