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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 18, 1999

18 March 1999
Tatarstan's President, Premier In Moscow
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, and State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, met in Moscow with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Vadim Gustov, Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev, and Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Tatar television reported. The delegation from Tatarstan participated in a session of the Russian Federation Council on 17 March, where Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov was elected a vice president of the Russian council of historical cities and areas.

Shaimiev Comments On Vote To Keep Skuratov
President Mintimer Shaimiev said that the day when the Federation Council voted to refuse to accept Prosecutor-General Yurii Skuratov's resignation may become a significant date in the history of federal Russia. Shaimiev said the country has to find a truly independent prosecutor-general. Shaimiev comments were made after the Council voted 142-6 on 17 March not to accept Skuratov's resignation, an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow reported.

Switch To Latin Alphabet Discussed In Parliament
The State Council of Tatarstan held parliament hearings on 17 March on a draft law that would restore the Tatar alphabet based on Latin letters, Tatar radio reported. A gradual transition to the Tatar Latin alphabet is scheduled to start on 1 September 2001 and will continue for 10 years. Several secondary schools in the republic have already begun instruction using Latin letters.

Pavlovsky Factory To Use KamAZ Chassis For Buses
The Pavlovsky bus plant in Nizhny Novgorod has begun assembling a new model of buses using chassis produced by Tatarstan's KamAZ, Tatarstan media reported. The first buses will be tested in Chally and Nizhny Novgorod. According to the cooperation agreement between the two companies, some 100 buses should be produced this year.

Kazan Plant To Make New Plane Engine
The Kazan engine-production association began work on a joint project with Ukraine's Zaporozhye engine plant aimed at producing a new aircraft engine. The engine would be mounted on the middle-range TU-324 plane which is due to replace the TU-134 and Yak-40 models. An experimental prototype is scheduled to be tested in November, Tatar-inform reported.

Concern Over Rise In Car Theft
Tatarstan's State Inspection for Traffic Security said the number of car thefts has risen sharply in Tatarstan this year. Inspection officials said at a press conference on 17 March in Kazan that car crimes increased by 37 percent in 1999 compared to the same period last year. They said income from stolen cars in Tatarstan is not much less than that from the arms and drug trades.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova