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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 23, 1999

23 December 1999
Bashkortostan May Drop Some Russian Programs
The Bashkortostan government does not exclude the possibility of stopping the broadcasts of some programs of Russian ORT and RTR TV companies on the republic's territory, according to the Bashkortostan presidential press-service 22 December. A few days ago, the "Zerkalo" program of RTR TV broadcast a clip showing already filled in ballots allegedly sent by President Rakhimov to a polling station. The Bashkortostan authorities have labelled this broadcast "a provocation aimed on discrediting the elections in BR and disgrace the republican authorities." On 20 November Bashkortostan's parliament had passed a resolution to suspend broadcasts of certain Moscow programs following their accusations of various human rights violations in the republic. The implementation of this resolution was blocked only after a meeting between President Murtaza Rakhimov and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Final Elections Results In Tatarstan
Tatarstan's Central Election Committee Chairman Marat Sirayev on 22 December summed up the results of the 19 December vote. He said that turnout was a very high 72 percent of all registered voters. The final outcome showed that 40.7 percent of the voters had cast their ballots for Fatherland-All Russia, 18.1 percent for the Russian Communist Party, 15.7 percent for Unity, and 5.2 percent for the Union of Right Forces. Some 2 percent voted against all parties. Sirayev said that his committee would investigate a number of reported violations, including charges by foreign ovservers that there had been several cases of "excessive interest of some local authorities representatives towards the voting process" as well as the casting of more than one ballot by some individuals.

Federal Minister Insists On Debt Repayment
Tatneft and Bashneft oil companies of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan republics may be cut off the federal exports pipeline if they don't pay taxes for November 1999, Federation Tax Minister Alexandr Pochinok announced on 22 December. He said that Moscow would send out a payment deadline letter for 1 February if payments weren't received by December 31.

Tatneft Ready For The Year 2000
Tatarstan's Tatneft oil company announced that it is "completely ready" to cope with the Y2K problem. Its information technologies chief Valery Nagumanov said that all of the company's computers had been tested and modified as eneded. As a result, he said, Tatneft will not fall ill to the millenium bug.