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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 30, 2001

30 March 2001
Shaimiev Concerned About Aircraft Building
President Mintimer Shaimiev in an interview published in "Rossiiskaya gazeta" on 23 March called for the introduction of a level playing field for domestic and foreign purchases. He said that the domestic production sector should be restructured and its debt rescheduled to allow it to service most domestic needs.

KGB Denies Receiving Communist Complaint
KGB spokesman Rovel Kashapov on 28 March said that Communist party representatives had not appealed to KGB about two posters used against them in the elections despite party leaders' claims to the contrary, Tatar-inform reported. Kashapov added that his organization had done its duty during the campaign by preventing extremism and terrorism in the republic.

Federal Inspector Comments On Elections
Chief federal inspector in Tatarstan Marsel Galimardanov on 26 March said that the elections in Tatarstan had "taken place without serious legal violations and that the electoral commission's work was transparent," Tatar-inform reported.

Republic to Increase Support for Small Businesses
Kazan plans to increase the number of small businesses receiving government support to the republic's small businesses by 25 million rubles ($871,000) this year, RIA-Novosti reported.

Second Round Set for Zarechensky District Representative
No candidate having won the first round, officials have set 9 April for a second round for elections in Zarechensky for a Tatarstan State Council representative, Efir-inform reported. In the second round, Kazan Energy University rector Yuri Nazmeev and lawyer Anatoly Perov will be running.

Tatenergo to Provide Energy for Grain
The Tatenergo press service on 29 March said that the company will sign agreements with farms allowing them to pay for energy with grain, Tatar-inform reported. The company said it will do so only with farms that are making a profit. Agricultural consumers now owe more than 700 million rubles ($24.3 million) in debt to energy suppliers.

Kazan University Rector to Seek New Term
Rector of the Kazan State University Yuri Konoplev on 23 March said that he will run for reelection, Efir-inform reported. He had said he would not. Meanwhile, nine other candidates have announced for the 24 April election.

Home for Needy Children Opens in Kazan
A boarding-house for children from needy families opened in Kazan on 23 March, Tatar-inform reported. Eighty boys from across the republic will live there and be given computer training. Turkish businessman Burkhan Erdugan is sponsoring the project.

Tuberculosis Spreads
The number of tuberculosis carriers grew by 12 percent in 2000 and among children by 23 percent, Tatar-inform reported on 23 March.

House for Homeless Opens in Chally
A house for homeless people opened in Chally, Tatar-inform reported on 23 March. It will allow the needy to spend up to ten nights in a row but not more than 30 nights a year. And it will give them medical assistance, food and assistance with official registration and jobs.

Who's Who in Tatarstan Published
The Tatarstan branch of the Russian Writers Union in Chally has issued an encyclopedia of the republic's VIPs, Tatar-inform reported on 23 March.

Alabuga Gets New Mosque
A new mosque with space for 3,000 people has opened in Alabuga, Efir-inform reported on 28 March. Alabuga administration head Ilshat Gafurov said that residents as well as large industrial companies had participated in the construction over the last decade.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Assembly Speaker: Bashkir Legislation Often Better Than Federal
State Assembly speaker Konstantin Tolkachev told on 28 March that t Bashkortostan has some good laws which could provide lessons for Moscow. He noted that Bashkortostan has 400 years of experience in preparing such legislation and said that Ufa has worked to convince "district and federal bodies that harmonization must be an interactive process."

Bashkir President Says Federal Districts 'Unnecessary Burden'
President Murtaza Rakhimov said in Moscow on 22 March that the new federal districts are "an unnecessary burden for the country's budget" and pointed out that some federal officials "are so busy that you can never reach them even by using the special government communications systems." In other comments, he said he would seek the reestablishment of the recently disbanded Federal Road fund to help build more highways in Bashkortostan.

Land Census Underway
A census of landholdings in Bashkortostan is taking place even though the issue of buying and selling agricultural land has not been resolved, news agencies reported on 26 March.

Kiriyenko Says New Passports Ready Soon
Russian presidential envoy to the Volga federal district Sergey Kiriyenko has announced that the new passports distribution would begin within a few weeks in Bashkortostan, Bashinform reported on 29 March. The insert pages will not include any reference to the bearer's nationality, despite efforts by Bashkir officials to have that included.

Gas Prices to Rise
As of 1 April, Mezhregiongas will increase gas prices for Bashkortostan's population, an RFE\RL correspondent reported from Ufa. The new monthly gas rates will range from 6.12 rubles [$0.21] to 12.24 rubles [$0.42] per capita, depending on the technical peculiarities of local gas networks.

Kiriyenko Praises Republic's Economic Policy
Bashkir deputy minister of economy and anti-monopoly policy Zulfira Akbasheva quoted the Russian presidential envoy to Volga administrative district Sergey Kiriyenko as praising Bashkortostan "for its efforts in promoting the consumer�s rights and curbing the natural monopolies."

Bashprombank To Support Private Businesses
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov met with Russian officials on 23 March to discuss reviving the activities of Bashprombank in order to allow that institution to extend more support to small businesses, the presidential press service reported.

Ufa to Aid Bashkir Farmers
The Bashkortostan government will allocate some 500 million rubles [$ 17 million] for spring loans to the farmers in 2001, Bashkir radio reported on 27 March. State Land Committee chairman Shamil Vakhitov said that "this year only the productive ventures will be given such loans; others will have to cover the expenses of sowing season by themselves."

Agricultural Workers Owed Millions in Salaries�
Collective farm workers in Bashkortostan currently are owed some 409 million rubles [$14 million] in back wages, an RFE\RL correspondent reported from Ufa on 29 March.

�While Farms Owe a Billion for Electricity
According to the Bashkir Ministry of Agriculture, farmers of the republic owe 1.1 billion rubles ($40 million) to the Bashkirenergo company for consumed electricity by April 2001. Energy suppliers reportedly state that the situation is deteriorated by that their rural customers do not have electric meters.

Government To Assist Disabled
Deputy Prime Minister Fidus Yamaltdinov said on 27 March that 180,000 disabled people live in Bashkortostan, of whom only 30,000 are able to work. The government will support more of both categories since of the latter only 3540 now have jobs.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Chuvashia's Fedorov Praises Moscow Personnel Shake-Up
President Nikolai Fedorov, who is a member of the Council of Europe's human rights commission, said on 29 March that the Council will give a positive assessment to President Vladimir Putin's latest personnel moves as steps "toward the creation of a civil society in Russia and the demilitarization of state polices and society," reported. Fedorov said that these changes are "correct and long awaited" and that they promise "a very progressive future for the Russian people."

Fatherland-All Russia's Chuvash Branch Elects New Leader
The OVR regional council in Chuvashia on 26 March elected republic parliament speaker Nikolai Ivanov as its new chairman, reported.

Chuvashia PM Meets Unity Leaders
Prime Minister Enver Ablyakimov on 26 March met with Unity deputy leader Sergei Krotkov and the party republic branch head Petr Krasnov to discuss economic reform, reported.

Greater Volga Discusses Mortgage Crediting
The Greater Volga construction committee on 28 March discussed the development of a mortgage system, energy saving construction technologies, and the information infrastructure of the sector, ITAR-TASS reported.

IBRD To Help Restructure Education
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development allocated a $50 million loan to Samara oblast, Chuvash Republic, and Yaroslavl oblast to restructure their educational system, reported on 26 March.

Marii El Appoints Second Senator
The State Assembly on 29 March confirmed candidacy of Ilya Lomakin-Rumyantsev, 44, proposed by President Leonid Markelov, as the second republic representative to the Federation Council, reported. Among those who had lost out in their efforts to gain that slot were communist Vladimir Kukarin, ex-Duma deputy Sergei Svinin, ex-candidate for president Ivan Teterin, and State Assembly deputy Yevgeny Bochkarev. Two additional candidates, former presidents Vladislav Zotin and Vyacheslav Kislitsyn, withdrew before the vote.

Merkushkin Visits Council Of Europe
Mordovia head Nikolai Merkushkin on 28 March left for Strasbourg to take part in the congress of European local and regional authorities organized by the Council of Europe, reported.

Mordovian Businessmen Stage Protest Action
Over 1500 representatives of small and medium businesses on 23 March picketed in Saransk a State Assembly session to protest a 60 percent rise in the united tax for businesses, reported. Republic KPRF members joined the picketers to support businesses. The same day all privately-owned shops in the republic were shut down in solidarity.

Mordovia Supports Families
Merkushkin on 23 March signed a decree providing state support for large and young families, reported. Mothers of five and more children will be granted a diploma and also receive some privileges while young families will be allowed to obtain credits for housing.

Mordovia Leader Happy With Kirienko
Merkushkin on 22 March said during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that "we are lucky with [Presidential envoy Sergei] Kirienko who is a very competent specialist," the Nizhny Novgorod telegraph agency reported. At the same time, he criticized interference in local affairs by some of the federal bodies subordinate to Kirienko.

Mordovia Seeks Out Companies To Construct Roads
Prime Minister Vladimir Volkov on 24 March said that the republic will hold a tender on highway construction with the participation of companies from Russia's other regions, reported.

Energy Company Head Arrested in Mordovia
Militia employees detained Zubovo-Polyansky electricity networks head Vladimir Ignatkin but have not yet filed charges against him, the Mordovenergo press service reported on 28 March. Earlier Ignatkin cut energy supplies to interior ministry buildings in the district.

Saransk Authorities Disturbed by Youth Crime
Saransk Mayor Ivan Nenyukov on 22 March said that "the level of criminality among students of secondary educational institutions has reached its peak over the past years," reported. He said the number of crimes conducted by children and teenagers had grown since the beginning of 2001 by 150 percent and many of the crimes are especially serious, including even murders.

Nizhny Airport May Cancel International Flights
State Veterinary Control Committee officials in Nizhny Novgorod on 28 March called for closing Nizhny Novgorod airport to international flights in order to prevent foot-and-mouth epizootic, reported.

Saratov Oblast to Get Less Gas
Mezhregiongaz on 29 March has cut gas deliveries to Saratov oblast by 30 percent, reported. The company said that oblast consumers have paid for only 50 percent of gas delivered during three months, but it added that residents won't be subject to reductions.

Kupol to Focus on Anti-Aircraft Rockets
The deputy general manager of the Izhevsk electromechanical plant Kupol Sergei Vasilyev was appointed the company�s new general manager, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 March. He said that the company will now focus on the production of anti-aircraft rockets both for the Russian army and for export.

Udmurtia's Izhmash to Assemble VAZ-2106
The AvtoVAZ press center on 29 March reported that the company has signed an agreement on the delivery of spare parts for the construction of VAS-2106 cars as part of a joint venture.

Criminality among Interior Employees Up in Ulyanovsk�
Ulyanovsk oblast prosecutors said on 26 March that crime among interior ministry officials had increased over the last year, "Ulyanovsk Segodnya" reported. Twenty-five percent of searches last year were conducted without warrants, and 60 suits were filed against interior officials. At present, three militiamen have been imprisoned after forcing people to make false confessions.

�So Shamanov Wants To Replace Oblast Interior Head
Governor Vladimir Shamanov on 28 March sharply criticized oblast interior officials and said he was considering replacing the oblast's interior head, reported.

Ulyanovsk Trade Unions Elect New Leader
The Ulyanovsk oblast Trade Unions Federation on 28 March elected Viktor Sluzhivoi as its new head, reported. Sluzhivoi said that negotiations with employers should become the main method of union activity. Governor Vladimir Shamanov said that the oblast administration will support trade unions and that no prices will be allowed to rise unless wages do as well.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova