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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 3, 1998

3 December 1998
Tatar Public Center Seeks To Inspire Acts Of Civil Disobedience
The recently appointed chairman of the Tatar Public Center (TPC), Zaki Zainullin, said at a press conference on 2 December that the main goals of the center were "gaining true independence for Tatarstan and eliminating bureaucracy in both the Tatar and Russian governments." TPC officials accuse Russian federal authorities of fomenting ethnic and religious conflicts inside the republic. TPC said that in order for it to achieve its goals, Tatarstan should cancel plans to construct a subway in Kazan and the auto racing track in the Kazan suburb of Biyektau. The TPC declared that if the republican government does not cancel these "useless and expensive projects" it would urge citizens to protest by practicing civil disobedience.

Shareholders Meeting Hopes To Revive Sales
At the KamAZ shareholders meetings in Moscow on 1 December, KamAZ General Director Ivan Kostin reported that the company has lowered its energy costs this year by 37 percent. In November, KamAZ produced 800 heavy trucks, 700 of which have been sold. In contrast, the Oka Small-displacement car factory of KamAZ sold less than 10 percent of the 1,700 vehicles it produced in the same month, Kostin said. Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said during the meeting that such a sales rate was unacceptable. He suggested that the KamAZ administration meet with engine supplier Avtovaz to discuss its flexible pricing policy.

Shaimiev Backs Primakov's Statement Concerning Crime Control
Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov on 2 December criticized the failure of Russian regional leaders to root out corruption and crime in their areas. Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said in his speech that he "totally agreed" with Primakov's statement. Shaimiev said that every regional leader in the Russian Federation should be held responsible for the situation in their regions.

Special Troops Department To Be Established In Tatarstan
Tatarstan television reports that the republican Ministry of Internal Affairs is to receive a license permitting it to establishing its own special armed force. Special units to battle against organized crime already exist in Tatarstan. The license to be issued by the federal MIA will allow Tatarstan to provide the special troops with modern equipment including armored personnel carriers.

Compiled by I. Nurmi