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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 9, 1999

9 August 1999
Stepashin Stops By Tatarstan
(Former) Russian Premier Sergei Stepashin arrived in Kama Tamagi, Tatarstan from Ulyanovsk Oblast on 8 August. During a meeting with Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, the two discussed many issues, including agriculture, the republican media reports. In regard to the recently formed Otechestvo-Vsya Rossiya political bloc, Shaimiev emphasized that he "did not consider himself a politician" because "life forced" him to take part in politics. Stepashin immediately commented on Shaimiev's statement by saying that "[the statement] showed [Shaimiev] as a true politician." Later the same day, Stepashin left Tatarstan's capital of Kazan for the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala. He told journalists that the "deteriorating situation with 3 or 4 villages occupied by bandits" was the reason for the unplanned visit to Dagestan. He said that "in such situations some officials are afraid to take responsibility, I am not."

Shaimiev Calls Crop Figures A Moral Issue
Tatar President Shaimiev met with the regional administration heads and representatives of major agricultural companies on 5 August. The president sharply criticized some of the heads for using the long drought of 1999 as an excuse for submitting bogus low crop figures to the republican government. Shaimiev stated that the "total amount of collected crops remains a moral issue for everyone."

Gas Price Hike Announced; Another One To Come?
A governmental committee for gas price stabilization set the maximum prices for the main types of gasoline in Tatarstan on 6 August. High-octane Ai-95, Ai-93 and A-76 types are not to exceed the 6, 5 and 3.80 rubles per liter costs, respectively. Another price hike is reportedly going to be introduced in mid-August.

Tax Police Coercive In Collecting More Taxes
7.42 billion rubles of taxes were collected in the first six months of 1999 in Tatarstan, Tatarinform reported. Reportedly 3.24 billion rubles were obtained using the coercive methods of the republican Tax Police.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi