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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 12, 1998

12 November 1998
Turkish Consul Says Cooperation With Tatarstan To Develop
Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met with the Turkish consul in Tatarstan, Ahmet Reza Demirer, in Kazan on 11 November. Both sides discussed cooperation projects for Turkey and Tatarstan. Demirer also assured Minnikhanov that the problems in relations between Russian and Turkey would affect Turkish cooperation with Tatarstan. He was referring to alleged reports that Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Workers' Party of Kurdestan (PKK), who is wanted by the Turkish government, has been allowed by the Russian government to remain in Russia. Demirer said he was making preparations for a visit by a Tatar governmental delegation to the Turkish Republic.

Republican Budget For 1999 Discussed By Tatarstan's Government
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov held a government meeting devoted to the future adoption of the republican budget for 1999. In his report, Minister of Economics Robert Musin said that 60 percent of the necessary budget funds have been raised in 1998 while 70 percent of this year's budget had already been spent.

Tatarstan's President Given Honorary Degree; Against Ban On Communists
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev was made an honorary professor on 11 November by the Moscow State Institute of International Affairs. The rector of the Institute, Anatoly Torkunov, gave an address at the ceremony praising the Tatar president for his role in reforming and developing federal relations with Moscow.

After the ceremony, Shaimiev said in an interview with our stringer in Moscow that he is against banning the Communist Party (CP) because it means rejecting part of the population--mostly elderly people who have grown up with and still believe in [the Communist] ideology. He said that in trying to create a democratic society we should not ignore and reject these people [Communists]. Shaimiev added that CP leaders are to blame for many problems. He said that "today they speak out against Jews, tomorrow they will speak out against other nations."

Compiled by I. Nurmi