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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 23, 1999

23 September 1999
Shaimiev Warns Of Growing Nationalism
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told Interfax on 22 September that he considers it "unacceptable and dangerous when a society becomes concentrated on the national identity of the alleged organizers of terrorist acts in Moscow." He said "terrorists have no national identity, they are criminals, and if we start dividing people into Russians and non-Russians we will increase tensions and destabilize the situation in our country." Shaimiev insisted that the "Yoldiz Religious School was not involved in the preparation of militants for operations in Chechnya." Some commentators have said that the founding of an Islamic University of Russia, to be created in Kazan, would lower the risk of religious radicalism in Tatarstan and the Russian Federation.

Tatar Nationalists Picket The Chally Mayor's Office
About 20 activists from the Tatarstan Public Center in Chally picketed the Chally townhall, demanding the release of two people suspected of being members of Chechen militant groups, the republican press reported. Interfax-Eurasia reported that both suspects are students at the Yoldiz Religious School.

German Managers Leave Chistay
The German director of an automotive parts joint venture in Chistay has left, Tatar press reported. Automotive Components Company (ACC) was established by the German Mannesman VDO AG, the Chistay watch factory, and Moscow's Medtem Company in 1996. ACC produces tachometers for heavy trucks and various indicators for passenger cars. Its production capacity allows for the production of 200,000 sets of indicators and 10,000 tachometers with an estimated total worth of DM 20 million (290-300 million rubles). The venture currently uses only 25 percent of its capacity. German managers from Mannesman AG had complained that their approach to production and marketing "was inefficient in the Russian reality." The new director, Vladimir Kirzhner, told journalists that despite the change "production resumes," and he added that "there is a new cooperation project with the future Ford Focus plant in St. Petersburg."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi