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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 6, 2001

6 July 2001
Mukhametshin On Power-Sharing Commission Tasks
Speaker Farid Mukhametshin on 30 June told Tatarstan television that the 1994 power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Kazan is a legitimate document as it is in accord with the Russian Constitution. He said that the presidential power-sharing commission must strictly divide powers between the federal center and federation subjects at the legislative level and reduce the number of joint powers for the federation to become stronger and subjects to work more efficiently.

Experts Comment on Federation Subjects Merger Projects...
Presidential envoy to the Far East district Konstantin Pulikovsky seeks to turn his district into the Far East Republic, while Sverdlovsk oblast Governor Eduard Rossel speaks for the creation of the Ural Republic, and Tyumen's Sergei Sobyanin initiates merger of municipal entities in his oblast, Moscow's "Versiya" reported. Political researcher Andrei Fedorov commented that Moscow is conducting preparations for a constitutional reform since federal districts are unconstitutional institutions and that Russia's current state system will be liquidated. Maksim Dianov, the director of the Institute of regional issues, said that Moscow with Moscow oblast and St. Petersburg with Leningrad oblast are the first candidates to be merged. Urals will most likely be divided into two entities with capital in Yekaterinburg and Tyumen and in the Volga district, subjects may merge around Nizhny Novgorod or Samara as a capital, he supposes. He believes that Tatarstan and Bashkortostan also may unite but only in the very last instance, when the whole system is settled.

...And On Federalism
Sergei Valentei, the chief editor of the "Federalism" journal, said in Kazan that the power-sharing treaty between Russia and Tatarstan is of special nature since the republic had not signed the 1992 Federative treaty, "Vostochny ekspress" reported on 29 June. But he stressed that major part of the Russian history consists of administrative-command ruling so everyone in Russia continues to think in unitary ways. He said that Tatarstan should not talk about sovereignty as that simply makes people angry. Aleksandr Gorelik, the director of the UN's Information Center, said that federalism could bring to positive results only if the majority of the population share common values. But in Russia, he noted, there is no unity even among educated people, scholars and politicians, so the society permanently throws itself from unitarism to anarchy.

Tsereteli Wants To Help Kazan Prepare For Millenium
Zurab Tsereteli, the president of the Russian Academy of Arts, has appealed to President Vladimir Putin proposing his help in designing celebrations of the Kazan millenium and in setting up an affiliate of the Academy of arts or of the Surikov Institute in the republic, "Vostochny ekspress" reported on 29 June.

New Mosque in Orekhovo-Zuevo
Tatars of Moscow oblast opened a new mosque in Orekhovo-Zuevo that has been constructed at the sponsorship of the charity fund Fatikha, Tatarstan television reported on 30 June. The chairman of the Muslim Religious Board of the European part of Russia Mufti Ravil Gainutdin took part in the ceremony.

Parliament Proceeds with Harmonization
Finance Minister Robert Musin told a parliamentary session that Tatarstan's budget in 2000 had 43.2 billion rubles of revenues and 41.3 billion rubles of expenditures, "Respublika Tatarstan" reported on 29 June. The State Council amended laws simplifying registration of small businesses as well as acts on Tatarstan's Constitutional Court, on budget system, on taxation of gambling business, on local self-governance, on deputies' and executives' elections, and on employment. Deputies rejected amendments to the federal law that allow regions' leaders to be elected to the third term. Having discussed protests by the republic prosecutor against laws on Constitutional Court and on Supreme Arbitration Court as contradicting the Russian Constitution, the legislature abolished the first and amended the latter.

Dalavia's Tu-214 Begins Regular Flights
A presentation of the first regular flight Khabarovsk-Moscow-Khabarovsk of the Tu-214 plane leased by Dalavia was held in Moscow, Tatar-inform reported. Representatives of Tatarstan, Khabarovsk krai, the finance-leasing company, the Zenit bank, and the Kazan aviation plant attended. Tatarstan plans to pass Dalavia the second Tu-214 aircraft next month.

Bankruptcy Board Accused of Embezzlement
The parliamentary control committee on 5 July said that it had found serious violations in the activity of the republic Committee on bankruptcy, among them legal violations and the misuse of funds, Tatarstan Television reported. In 2000, the Committee embezzled 14 million rubles ($482,000). The Committee's head Aleksei Semin rejected the deputies' accusations.

Eurasian Idea Seen as a Defense Against Islamic Threat
Aleksandr Dugin, the leader of the public political movement Eurasia, told the international conference on "Islamic threat or threat to Islam" in Moscow that Russia should seek allies among Islamic peoples of Eurasian orientation and use them to fight Islamic peoples with a pro-American orientation. He said Eurasian Islam has the greatest religious potential. Hozh Akhmed Nukhaev, the former intelligence service head in the Chechen government, told the conference that Chechnya with its strong traditions does not accept soulless Western values and this feature unites it with Russia that also does not want to join globalization. He suggested that strengthening Eurasian ideology in Russia would weaken America and Western countries and inspire dissident movement in them.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkirenergo Begins Paying Off Debts
Russia's United Energy Systems received the first transfer of 10 million rubles ($344 thousand) from Bashkirenergo Company which began paying off its debts totaling 199.4 million rubles ($6.86 million) on 6 July, reported. Previously Bashkirenergo had refused to pay for the use of electricity networks and UES communication system, claiming that being a state-owned venture it could be an affiliate of UES.

Healthcare Minister Urges Focus on Children's Health
Minister of Healthcare Rais Khasanov said on 5 July that the number of chronic diseases has increased among children in Bashkortostan. He said that in last seven years average sickness rate among children and teenagers rose from 14% to 43%. Khasanov added that over 20,000 (2.4% of the total) have tuberculosis.

VGTRK, Bashkortostan State Media to Cooperate
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov, Bashkortostan State TV-Radio company director Ramis Davletbayev, and Russian State TV-Radio Company (VGTRK) head Oleg Dobrodeev signed a cooperation agreement, Bashinform reported on 6 July. It calls for "improving the quality of broadcasting, increasing the amount of Russia-related information imparted in BR and expanding broadcasts in ethnic languages of the republic."

Bashkreditbank Enters Russian Stocks Market
Bashkreditbank of Ufa will launch an issue of 1 billion rubles ($34 million) worth of its bonds to the stock market of Russia on 11 July, bank's press service announced on 5 June.

Bootleg Alcohol Sale Remains A Problem For Law Enforcers
The Small Businesses Association of Bashkortostan met with Tax Police officials on 5 July to discuss frequent violations in the retail sale of alcohol drinks, "Respublika Bashkortostan" reported.

Birth Rate Expected To Grow...
Women's Union chairwoman Rashida Sultanova said on 5 July that the birth rate bounce expected Bashkortostan by the end of 200 has already taken place. She added that the annual birth figures gradually increased through last three years in BR by 150-250 births per year.

...As Pregnant Women Given More Care
Deputy minister of healthcare Salia Murzabayeva told Bashinform on 4 July that in last several years thanks to strong governmental support, Bashkortostan seriously improved its centers for assistance to pregnant women and newborn children.

Leftist Movements Oppose Russia's Draft Land and Labor Codes
Fewer than one hundred Ufa Communists, most of them elderly, held a protest action on 4 July to oppose the adoption of new Codes on Land and Labor.

Bashkortostan Trains Its Own Emergency Experts
For the first time in Bashkortostan, the Ufa State Aviation-Technical University graduated experts in emergency situations on 5 July. Before that Civil Defense Academy in Moscow was the only Russian center for training specialists in this field.

Tax Police Describes Typical Tax Evader
The Tax Police press service announced something on 4 July said that the typical tax evader in Bashkortostan was someone with a higher education and about 40 years of age, local media reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Patriarch Visits Chuvashia
Patriarch Aleksii II on 5 July arrived in Chuvashia for a four-day visit, reported. He said on arrival that he had come to take part in the jubilee of Metropolitan Varnava of Cheboksary and Chuvash archbishops board. "I believe that XXI century must become a century of peace, creation and wealth," he said, adding that people in small towns had preserved more of their traditional kindness than others.

Chuvashia, Germany To Boost Ties
Chuvashia President Nikolai Fedorov met with head of the Konrad Adenauer Fund's Moscow representation Gerd Bossen to discuss mutual cooperation between Chuvashia and Germany and formation of a legal state in Russia, VolgaInform reported on 4 July.

Fedorov's Rating Down
The Chuvashia Social Measurement research group said that the rating of the Chuvash President had fallen from 51 percent in May to 42 percent in July, reported on 4 July.

Interior Battalion Returns to Kirov Oblast From Chechnya
Nikolai Petelkin, the Interior Ministry�s Volga district internal troops spokesman, said on 4 July that an interior troops battalion that had been serving in Chechnya since 1999 and that had taken part in the Grozny assault, has returned to Kirov oblast, IF-region reported. He said that the unit had suffered 20 dead and 64 wounded.

Lenin Statue Shifted
Marii El's Mari-Turek district deputies decided to remove the Lenin monument located near a cathedral construction plot to a new place near the district culture department building, reported on 30 June.

National Holidays to be Rived in Marii El
The Marii El's Medvedev district administration on 2 July has adopted a three year program on revival of Marii national holidays, customs, traditions, and folklore, reported.

New Marii Paper Issued
The first number of the Marii newspaper "Student ilysh" was issued in Marii El, the information center of Finno-Ugric peoples reported on 28 June. Vasily Nikolaev, the chief editor of the new edition, have been already publishing a paper with similar name since 1993 in Estonia's Tartu.

Volga Region Writers Discuss Ethnic Symbolism, Futurism
An international seminar on "Postmodernism, ethnic symbolism and ethnic futurism in the literature of Volga region peoples" was held in Marii El's Kozmodemyansk, reported on 30 June.

Merkushkin too Promote Civil Society
Mordovia leader Nikolai Merkushkin on 4 July told the conference on "Prospects for Civil Society Development" in Saransk that inactivity of democratic authority institutions in Russia can have bad results, reported on 4 July. He said that the development of civil society is among main problems of the country and that he will promote this issue. The news agency noted that Merkushkin being himself an authoritarian regional leader calls for real efficient democracy not only in the society but in authority bodies as well.

Merkushkin Meets Veterans
Mordovia leader Nikolai Merkushkin on 30 June met with veterans that occupied leading posts in the republic politics and economics in 1970-90s to discuss current political and economic issues, reported. The agency cited a source in the presidential administration as saying that Merkushkin considers this meeting an important step in his 2003 electoral campaign.

Mordovia Deputy Speaker Backs Land Code
Mordovia State Council Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Zankin on 4 July said that the adoption of the new Land Code faces opposition not only from some political parties but also by officials who want to enrich themselves, reported.

Upgraded T-72 Shown in Nizhny Tagil
A modernized T-72 tank is on display at the international exhibit Russian Defense Expo-2001 in Nizhny Tagil 3-8 June, ITAR-TASS reported.

Samara Election Commission Drops Karlov from Mayoralty Race
The Samara city central electoral commission on 28 June dropped Valery Karlov, the leader of the Civil initiative movement, as a candidate for mayor because he provided incorrect income data, reported. His supporters said they would sue to have his candidacy revived.

Rossel Won't Dissolve Oblast Duma
Sverdlovsk oblast Governor Eduard Rossel on 29 June said that he will never dissolve the oblast duma even though its work has been paralyzed for three months, Region-Inform reported.

Sverdlovsk Government Concerned About Penitentiaries
The oblast government has developed a four year program promoting employment of prisoners and prevention of HIV in prisons and penal colonies, reported on 2 July. The oblasts prisons are overcrowded and underfunded, the site reported.

Journalists Leave Rossel's Television
Six journalists of Sverdlovsk oblast government television resigned following the dismissal of information service chief editor Tatyana Nikolaeva, reported on 29 June. Nikolaeva said that the station was increasingly controlled by the oblast government.

Drug Use, Deaths Up Dramatically
Presidential envoy to the Ural district Petr Latyshev on 28 June said that the number of registered drug addicts in the district had increased 30 times over the last decade and now totals 650,000. He added that more than 1200 drug users below 19 years old die every year.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova