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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 9, 1998

9 December 1998
Tatar Branch Of Otechestvo Looking For Allies
The head of the newly-formed Kazan branch of the Russian political party Otechestvo, Farida Gainullina, said in an interview with Tatar radio that the organization will get its core support from trade unions and their 1,400,000 members in Tatarstan. Otechestvo, which is headed nationally by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, will discuss additions to its platform at the movement's Moscow congress in two weeks. Tatarstan's division of Otechestvo successfully united the republic's six parties and movements of social-democratic orientation when it formed (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 4 December 1998). Gainullina also chairs Tatarstan's Trade Unions Federation. She said she thinks Otechestvo's charter says too little about Moscow-regional relations. Rafael Khakimov, an advisor to the Tatar president and co-chair of the Yedinstvo i Progress party, is reportedly concerned by the participation of the nationalist Congress Russkikh Obshchin (Russian Communes Congress) in Otechestvo.

Tatarstan's branch of Otechestvo is going to submit candidates for the territorial okrugs in the next republican elections. During Russian State Duma elections Otechestvo said it will support candidates from Rossiiskiye Regiony (Regions of Russia), Soyuz Truda (Labor Union), the Reformy--novyi kurs (New Policy of Reforms), and the Zhenshchiny Rossii (Women of Russia) parties, Tatar radio reported.

Insolvent Electronics Plant To Be Restructured
One of the republic's largest military-industrial enterprises, Kazan's Radiopribor plant, may be out of business by 2000 as a result of the financial crisis, State Property Committee Chairman Damir Bikbov told the Committee's meeting on 8 December. The plant, which , produces radio electronics, owes creditors more than 87 million rubles (some $4 million), most of it in back payments to pension funds (38 million rubles/some $2 million) and in wage arrears (17 million rubles/$850,000). In Bikbov's opinion, it is necessary to allow the plant's branch enterprises to break off and attempt to turn a profit. Therefore, it is possible that Radiopribor will become a joint-stock company and merge with a financial-industrial corporation, Tatar radio reported.

Competition On Sale Of Gypsum Mine Shares Failed
Tatarstan's State Property Committee has canceled an auction to sell 28 percent of Kama Tamagy gypsum mine, due to be held on 7 December, because no bids were placed. Interfax reported that in a competitive tender the shares were supposed to be sold for some 12 million rubles ($600,000). The authorized capital of the company today is worth 1,757,000 rubles ($90,000). The company's shareholders include Tatar state organs, company workers, the German firm Knauff, and the Kazan Mosttaf company. The enterprise is due to extract 240,000 tons of gypsum stone this year.

World Tatar Youth Congress To Be Held In Kazan
The executive committee of the World Tatar Congress has scheduled a World Tatar Youth Congress for Kazan in 2000, Tatar radio reported. Executive Committee Chairman Indus Tahirov says the aim of the forum is to consolidate all progressive Tatar youth under the slogan of peace, democracy, and progress. Regional youth organizations have begun preparing for the election of delegates to the Congress. The Days of Tatar youth in CIS countries and foreign states will be held next December under the aegis of the World Tatar Congress.

Compiled by G. Khasanova