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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 4, 2001

4 January 2001
SPECIAL ISSUE: The News of the Year in Review

Putin Visits Kazan Twice
Vladimir Putin visited Kazan twice in 2000, the first time as a presidential candidate and thes second time to celebrate the traditional Sabantuy holiday.

Russian Opposition Movement in Tatar Parliament
Tatarstan oppositionist RIZ [Equality and Legality] movement leader Alexander Shtanin on 8 April won election in the second round to the State Council. He is the first Russian representative there.

Federal Districts Created
Russian President Putin names seven representatives in federal administrative districts. Former Russian PM Sergey Kiriyenko becomes a presidential representative in Volga administrative district, which includes Tatarstan Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev positively reacts the federal reform by saying, "I think that the power vertical is essential, especially in the transition period." Kiriyenko says that "sovereignty of republics is fine and good unless its threats the sovereignty of Russian Federation."

State Council Active in Legal Affairs
The Tatarstan State Council selected parliamentary deputy Rashit Vagizov the republic's Commissioner on Human Rights It also choses the republic's Constitution Court. Former chief prosecutor of Tatarstan Sayfikhan Nafiyev is named Court chairman.

Republic Day Widely Celebrated
Tatarstan citizens celebrated the tenth anniversary of the republic's independence declaration on 30 August. The only Moscow representative was federal deputy prime minister Valentina Matviyenko.

Russian State Council Presidium Formed
President Putin established the Presidium of Russia's State Council in September. Tatarstan's Mintimir Shaimiev is put in charge of the new power-sharing concept to be elaborated for the federal center and the regions. Some of the independent media in Tatarstan suggest that this sets the stage for Shaimiev running for a third term.

Tatar Parliament Wrestles with Presidential Vote
Tatarstan's State Council in September sets presidential elections in for 24 December 2000, three months earlier than the constitutionally stipulated date. But on the suggestion of President Mintimir Shaimiev, the parliament reverses itself in October. Only on 22 December did deputies set the polling date for 25 March 2001.

Russian Prosecutors Protest Tatarstan Laws
The Office of the Russian Prosecutor General in the summer noted that several provisions of Tatarstan's constitution and many of its laws violate federal rules. But parliamentary speaker Farit Mukhametshin responded that harmonization of the two should be "unhurried," adding that both Moscow and Kazan should modify their legislation.

Average Salaries Reported
The average monthly salary in Tatarstan in 200 was 2230 rubles (approx. $80). Oil industry workers led with average monthly incomes of 7000 rubles. Doctors (1471 rubles), teachers (1146 rubles) and collective farmers (1066 rubles) received the least.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Republic Agriculture To Be Reformed In 2001
Bashkortostan's Cabinet of Ministers on 28 December discussed plans to reform the republic's agricultural complex, Bashinform agency reported. Deputy PM Nikolay Sigakov and Minister of Agriculture Mikhail Mineev said that 70% of the republic's farms were profitable enterprises. The most serious is the "slow pace Bashkortostan's agriculturalists have shown in entering the Russia's market," speakers said.

Oil-Chemical Institute Reports Higher Earnings
Elshad Telyashev, the director of the Oil-Chemical Processing Institute [OCPI] in Ufa, told the joint meeting of Bashkortostan's Academy of Sciences and the scientific center of Russian Academy of Sciences in Ufa on 29 December that his institute had managed to significantly improve its material situation in 2000. It had boosted its earnings and increased average salaries from 400 rubles in 1997 to 1700 rubles this year. Only 1,7% of the institute's budget is funded by Bashkortostan's government; the rest is raised by the OCPI itself.

Tatars of Bashkortostan Hope for a Better Tomorrow
On New Year's eve, Tatar Public Center chairman Ayrat Giniyatullin told RFE\RL that "our expectations of an end to persecution by pocket courts, bans on holding the protest pickets and demonstrations haven't come true yet, but the process of adjusting the regional legislation to federal one is also not over." Commenting on the latest demographic figures and problems of Tatar education in BR Giniyatullin said, "as 165 Bashkir and 15 Tatar kindergarten teachers are prepared in the republic, this means that for 100,000 Tatars there is a single teacher prepared every year. There are 43 of Bashkir and only 2 Tatar gymnasiums. We are facing the new century in a critical condition hoping for solution of our problems in future."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Populaton Appeals to Federal District about Local Officials
Sergei Andriyanychev, the head of the Volga Federal District presidential representative reception office in Nizhni Novgorod, said on 29 December that the major part of some 2000 written and 550 personal appeals to his office made by District residents last year concerned the failure to local officials to follow federal legislation. He said that about 95 percent of those who appealed were from Nizhni Novgorod and the surroundingoblast. A network of eight public reception offices was set up in 2000 in regions of the Volga Federal District.

Federal District Gets New Internal Troops Commander
Major General Mikhail Zmeyev assumed command of the interior forces in the Volga District on 4 January, Nizhni Novgorod news service reported. Earlier he had served as deputy commander of the Eastern District in Novosibirsk. His predecessor, Col.Gen. Aleksandr Muratov has retired from the uniformed ranks. He will now service as chief federal inspector in the Chuvash Republic.

Federal Inspector in Udmurtia Criticizes Municipal Charters
Sergei Chikurov, the chief federal inspector in Udmurtia, said on 28 December that joint efforts by the republic authorities and federal bodies have achieved significant results during the past year. But he said that several harmonization issues remain unresolved, including provisions in the Izhevsk and Mozhga city charters which contravene both republic and federal legislation.

Justice Board Praised for Harmonization Work in Udmurtia
The Russian justice ministry board in Udmurtia issued a report on 27 December listing 40 legislative doctuments which have been brought into conformity with federal law. The chief federal inspector there, Sergei Chikurov, praised the board for its work.

Mordovia's Merkushkin Happy With Economic Growth�
Mordovian leader Nikolai Merkushkin said on 3 January that he is satisfied with the republic's economic achievements in the last several years, reported. He noted that production had grown by 55 percent over past four years and by 20 percent in 2000 alone. Last year, he said, agricultural production had increased by 8 percent, while transport and communications services expanded by 10 percent. Mordovia led the Volga Federal District's 15 regions in GDP growth with 10 percent. And he noted that the republic's receipts had increased by 60 percent allowing it to cut debt by 50 percent.

�But Teachers Remain Unpaid
Meanwhile, however, the Mordovia educators union said on 29 December that the republic government owes educational institutions some 250 million rubles ($9 million) in all. Ten percent of that is for teacher's back wages.

Tax Collections To Rise In Mordovia
Mordovia's 2001 draft budget says that the republic will collect 1.5 times more taxes this year, with income tax collections rising by a third. This year too, Mordovia is expected to send its VAT collections to Moscow in the amount of 270 million rubles ($1 million). At the same time, excise collections are scheduled to fall by 140 million rubles. But under its agreement with the Russian government, Mordovia will r eceive back 591 million rubles to implement federal legislation.

Mordovia Increases Housing Construction
The Mordovian State Statistics Committee reported on 29 December that the republic now occupies second place (behind Chuvashia) among the Volga-Vyatka economic region in per capita housing construction, reported. Five years ago, it was in last place.

Ulyanovsk Law Officers Found Guilty of Bribe-Taking
Three law enforcement officers have been convicted of bribery in Ulyanovsk oblast, RIA-Novosti reported on 3 January. One was sentenced to 11 years, the other two to six years each. All suffered confiscation of property as well. Investigators found that the three had accepted a million rubles' worth of UAZ automobiles to overlook crimes by others.

Ulyanovsk's Aviastar Opens Representation In Ukraine
Ulyanovsk's Aviastar firm has set up a representation and technical service center in Ukraine, the company press service reported on 1 January. The measure is connected to the increase in production of the An-124 Ruslan plane which has been developed by Kiev designers.

UAZ Boosts Production
The Ulyanovsk automobile plant aplans to increase car and truck production by 90,000 units in 2001, reported on 3 January. Some ten percent of the additional production will consist of UAZ new model cars. The company also expects to enter the black by March.

New General Manager at Marii Oil Company
A Mariinefteproduct shareholders annual meeting on 3 January confirmed Gennadi Galkin as the company's new general manager, reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova