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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 24, 1999

24 February 1999
Interbudget Relations Discussed
The negotiations on an agreement on interbudget relations between Tatarstan and Russia was discussed at a special closed-door meeting led by Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev on 23 February in Kazan. Shaimiev said before the meeting that several variants of the agreement will be considered. He said "I think we'll manage to solve the problem. It doesn't matter whether it will be an agreement [to extend the previous treaty] or a new document. The main task is to maintain the level of budget security for Tatarstan that we currently have. We won't give [that] up, this is our main position. We cannot let the standard of living in Tatarstan worsen." Shaimiev added that the issue of personnel will also be discussed at the meeting, specifically, the retirement of some administrative heads of several towns and districts in Tatarstan. He said personnel changes should be completed before elections to the Russian State Duma and Tatarstan's State Council. Shaimiev said a delegation leaves for Moscow on 24 February to meet with creditors to discuss budget issues.

Presidential Advisor Opposes Turning Republics Into Provinces
Rafail Khakimov, the state adviser to the Tatar president, said in an interview with Tatar-inform that it is dangerous to think about transforming Russian republics with state status into provinces. Khakimov was commenting on a statement made by Russian Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov on the merging of Russia's territorial entities. He said those who consider big regions to have the brightest future should explain exactly how such a merger would be carried out. He said it's a bad sign when some want economic associations to turn into federation entities without an explanation of how such a transformation would occur. Khakimov asked how the republics and regions' status would change as regards their existence in the constitution. In principle, he continued, Russian subjects' borders may be changed only if some oblasts decide to unite with others, as is provided for in the Russian Constitution.

Tatarstan To Exhibit Arms In Abu Dhabi
Military hardware produced by Tatarstan's defense enterprises will be shown at IDX-99, an armament exhibition to be held in Abu Dhabi from 14-18 March, Tatar-inform reported. The Kazan helicopter plant will show the MI-17 1B model, and the refined light helicopter ANSAT. The Kazan optics plant, Sergo plant POZIS, and Elektropribor electric devices plant, will also introduce new products. Tatarstan has participated in military exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates since 1993.

Duma Faction Leader Concerned By Region's Interests
Oleg Morozov, a deputy from Tatarstan and the leader of the State Duma faction Rossiiskie Regiony (Russian Regions), said on 23 February in Kazan that he will form an electoral bloc to defend the interests of Russian regions at the federal level. He said no political movement has yet been created in Russia that concerns itself with regional problems. Morozov said he will rely on powerful governors and regional leaders in forming the movement.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova