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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 8, 1999

8 September 1999
Dairy Products And Bread Prices Rise Sharply
Tatarstan's Cabinet of Ministers announced a 50 percent hike in the price of bread and dairy products on 6 September. Deputy Premier Adelya Konyusheva, the first deputy minister of social programs, Yuri Kamaltinov, the deputy minister of agriculture, Nikolai Yakushkin, and the general-director of the Tatarkhleboproduct bread company, Talgat Zamaleev, told a press conference on 7 September that the hike aims to help increase revenues for farmers. Officials also stated that extra revenue would be useful for modernizing the equipment of state-owned bakeries. Konyusheva said that bread prices in the republic would remain among the cheapest in Russia, while the price hike would help prevent the exporting of bread to other parts of Russia.

The republican government will reportedly issue special tokens and checks that can be used to buy dairy products and bread in a social program that will benefit about one million citizens. The government intends to spend 26 million rubles monthly on this program, also having announced a 15 percent salary hike for republican employees.

Shaimiev Comments On Elections
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, said that as one of the leaders of the All Russia political movement he was under no pressure from Russian President Boris Yeltsin in regard to the election campaign for the State Duma later this year. He condemned the alleged statement of Fatherland--All Russia bloc headquarter chief Georgii Boos, who asserted that Yeltsin could repeat the fate of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu. Boos told the bloc's political board that he did not make such a statement--Shaimiev said. Shaimiev said he was concerned about the chances for candidates with a criminal past to win Duma seats. He acknowledged that in Russian society "there are no forces [that can properly] put into perspective and thereby influence public opinion concerning the activities of such Duma deputies as Russian Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii."

St. Petersburg's Governor Visits Kazan
The governor of St. Petersburg and leader of the All Russia political movement, Vladimir Yakovlev, visited Kazan on his way to Tajikistan on 7 August. During a press conference at Kazan's airport, Yakovlev said he would meet with Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev to discuss the current situation in Russia and within the Fatherland--All Russia election bloc. Yakovlev said that his region was seeking assistance from Tatarstan "in [regard to] the situation when some regions of Russia avoid selling corn on [local] market, [because they are] hoping to sell it later for higher prices."

Yakovlev commented on the recent attempt to close the St. Petersburg TV channel, saying "such measures against journalists are unacceptable." After his 3 hour visit to Kazan, Yakovlev flew to the Tajik capital of Dushanbe for celebrations of the republic's independence day and the 1100th anniversary of Tajik statehood.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi