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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 9, 1998

9 November 1998
Shaimiev's Comments On Duma's Refusal To Criticize Makashov's Statements
President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev criticized the anti-Semitic statements by Albert Makashov, commenting on the Duma's refusal to criticize them in his interview with Tatarstan state television on 6 November. It outrages me, he said, that during the more than ten years that we live in an open society, Albert Makashov publicly continues to wield a sword like a military man in politics, and there is no force in society that is capable of criticizing such declarations. Moreover, Shaimiev continued, he finds support from the left-wing opposition. He added that in Tatarstan, however, ensuring international consent is the special point of our policy. It is impossible without it to speak about the successful resolution of other problems, he said.

Tatarstan Authority Grows Over Past Several Centuries, Shaimiev Says
With the adoption of the 1992 Constitution of Tatarstan, the authority of our republic and people has grown immeasurably over the past several centuries, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told reporters on 6 November on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the Constitution of Tatarstan. As State Adviser to President of Tatarstan Rafael Khakimov said in an interview with Tatarstan state television on 6 November, the Constitution of Tatarstan is more stable compared with the Constitution of Russia, because it maintains a balance of interests, thus providing for a more stable situation in the republic. In Khakimov's opinion, which coincides with that of President Mintimer Shaimiev, if the Constitution of Russia provided guarantees for the president after leaving his post, the situation in Russia today would be more stable.

Government Arranges Against Export of Products From Tatarstan
Keeping residents supplied with meat and butter and introducing measures against their export from the republic were discussed in a government session chaired by Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on November 6, state media reported. Strong demand and queues for meat and butter have grown in Tatarstan in the past weeks. The price of butter has increased 2.5-3 times compared with the level before 17 August; nevertheless, it is still lower than in Russia's other regions. Meanwhile, the production of butter in Tatarstan was reported to account for 10 percent of the volume throughout the Russian Federation. Meat production is also sufficient to satisfy demand.The government has investigated the channels through which butter and meat are leaving the republic, despite a resolution imposing an embargo on the export of these products. The Interior Ministry oversees of meat and butter from Tatarstan.

Alcohol Production Becomes One Of Main Sources Of Budget Income
Budget revenues from alcohol sales in Tatarstan during the first 10 months of 1998 were 78 million rubles (more than 5.2 million dollars). That figure was reported in a meeting of directors of Tatarstan's alcohol plants on November 7, headed by Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov. Production and sale of alcohol in Tatarstan, along with the oil-producing sector, has become the main source of budget revenues. Two years ago, they were monopolized by the state. Tatspirtprom state company was created for that purpose; today it unites 17 alcohol plants. The illegal import of vodka into the republic from other regions was also discussed, Tatarstan state television reported.

Compiled by G.Khasanova