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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 18, 1999

18 November 1999
Tatarstan Budget For 2000 Adopted
At the 21st session of Tatarstan's State Council on 17 November, the republic's draft budget for 2000 was passed. Expected budget income is 18.9 billion rubles, while expenses are projected to be 19.5 billion rubles, leaving a 6 percent deficit. Finance Minister Robert Musin assessed the budget as "socially oriented, aimed at supporting domestic producers." The budget reportedly allots money for improving social security, medical programs, state employees wages, and drug enforcement programs. State Council deputies criticized the draft budget for the reductions in financing the republic's cultural and education programs. The same day, 49-year-old Ildus Tarkhanov was appointed Tatarstan's minister of culture in a decree from President Mintimer Shaimiev. Tarkhanov has worked as a deputy minister of culture since 1993.

British Diplomats Visiting Kazan
The first secretary of the British Embassy in Moscow, Charles Londsdale, and Second Secretary Thomas Drew arrived in Kazan on 18 November, Tatarinform agency reported. The diplomats reportedly intend to get an overview of the political situation in Tatarstan on the eve of Russian national parliamentary elections in December and to look at economic cooperation opportunities between Tatarstan and the UK.

Finnish Radio Broadcasts In Mari And Udmurt Languages
National Radio of Finland, Yleradio Finland, began a trial broadcast in the languages of the Finno-Ugrian Volga peoples -- Mari and Udmurt, Tatar-inform reported on 15 November. The broadcasts can be heard on shortwave, through satellite receivers, or via the Internet. The ten-minute broadcasts are on the air at 00:00 on Saturdays (6190 kHz, 49 m, or 558 kHz, 538 m), and at 6:30 (558 kHz, 538 m), 12:30 (21670 kHz 13 m), and 20:00 (2135 kHz, 49 m) on Sundays. The trial broadcasts will continue until 26 March and may be prolonged or sent out in other Finno-Ugrian languages depending on interest by the listenership.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi