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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 20, 1999

20 December 1999
Elections For Russian State Duma In Tatarstan And Bashkortostan
According to the approximate data submitted by the republican Central Election Committee on 20 December Fatherland- All Russia (OVR) election bloc received 43% of votes in Tatarstan. Russian Communist Party and the newly formed Unity bloc each gained 17% of votes. Committee officials stated that OVR obtained a larger proportion of supporters in rural regions than in the cities. Votes count is reportedly still proceeding and elections results may change. According to the latest reports from RFERL correspondents in Ufa, Bashkortostan 33% of voters supported the OVR bloc.

Shaimiev Announces Amendments to Russia and Tatarstan Constitutions
During his recent meeting with James F. Collins, US Ambassador to Russia, Tatarstan's president Mintimer Shaimeiv said he would propose a working group to draft amendments to bring into closer alignment the Russia and Tatarstan constitutions. Shaimiev said that this issue would remain "after the Yeltsin epoch is over". Tatarstan's president stated "at a minimum" that Russian Federation republics must not have less rights than US states.

Tatenergo Advises Energy Tariffs To Rise
The Republic's Tatenergo Company proposed that the government increase energy tariffs by 1,8 times, Tatarstan's media reported on 28 December. The Ministry of Economy and Industry is considering this proposal, Tatarinform agency announced the same day. Deputy PM Sergey Kogogin declared that such an increase was unacceptable, because it would result in "serious consequences for the industry". According to Ministry of Economy pilot studies an 1,8 price increase would result in nullifying the cost effectiveness of Nizhnekamskneftekhim company and zeroing out profitability for the Kazanorgsintez chemical factory. Kogogin proposed that Tatenergo had to rely on "internal reserves to stabilize tariffs for the next 6 months". Previous electric energy cost increases occurred on 1 September: industrial costs are 0,32 ruble per kilowatt hour; 0,2 ruble for agriculture; and 0,16 ruble for consumers.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi