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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 18, 1999

18 February 1999
Tatar Speaker Attends Meetings In Moscow
Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, spoke against a draft law on power sharing between Russian state bodies and members of the Russian Federation at a Federation Council committee session on 16 February. Mukhametshin said adoption of the law would break a fragile balance that exists between Moscow and the regions. He said the draft law is destructive for the 46 treaties that have already been signed. Mukhametshin also attended a council meeting of the movement "Russia is Our Home" on 16 February in Moscow. On 17-18 February he participated in a plenary meeting of Russia's Federation Council, Tatar television reported.

KGB Chief Comments On Security Council
The chairman of Tatarstan's KGB, Vener Salimov, said in an interview with Tatar-inform that the republic's Security Council should coordinate state activity on the neutralization of external and internal threats. He said a wide range of "internal threats" exist, including environmental ones. As for external threats, Salimov said they are caused by those who infringe on the principles of state or constitutional security, for example, international extremist groups. He added that threats may also be posed by ignoring the demands and interests of the republic in foreign economic activity. The State Council passed a draft law on security on the second reading. According to the legislation, a Security Council would be formed and headed by the republic's president.

Power Company On Verge Of Collapse Due To Debts
Viktor Popov, the deputy general director of Tatarstan's energy association Tatenergo, said on 17 February that the republic's power system is no longer safe. Popov made his comments at a meeting of the governmental commission involved in resolving the debts of Tatarstan's energy enterprises. Tatenergo, which is owed money by many of Tatarstan's enterprises, last paid its employees in June. The head of the commission, Tatar Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shvetsov, ordered Tatenergo to cut off energy supplies to one of the largest debtors, the Bua sugar plant, and for its director to be sacked, Tatar radio reported.

Gazprom Supplies Tatarstan With Extra Gas
Russian gas giant Gazprom began extra gas deliveries to Tatarstan earlier this month, Tatar-inform reported. Under the 1999 agreement between the Mezhregiongaz finance company and Gazprom's branch in Tatarstan, Tatgazinvest holding, Gazprom was to deliver some 7 million cubic meters of extra gas daily in addition to the 47 million it usually sends. This special measure is for the winter months only, to ensure the proper heating of homes. Meanwhile, Tatarstan's energy company Tatenergo owes Tatgazinvest 1.3 billion rubles and remains its largest debtor.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova