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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 20, 2001

20 July 2001
Mukhametshin On Retaining Power-Sharing Treaty...
Speaker Farid Mukhametshin on 13 July told "Respublika Tatarstan" that republic leaders have signed with Moscow a preliminary document confirming that Tatarstan�s treaty differs from those of other federation subjects that must be abolished by 30 July 2002. He said that if Moscow ignored this, it would set relations back by a decade. In an interview published in "Vostochny ekspress" the same day, Mukhametshin said that Tatarstan can even seek mutual ratification of the treaty by republic and federal parliaments and added that "we are going to constitutionally fix our treaty when we amend our Constitution." He stressed that harmonization must be a two-way street but noted that now is not the time to touch the Russian basic law.

...Citizenship Law...
Mukhametshin told "Vostochny ekspress" on 13 July that the republic legislature will proceed with its work on the republic citizenship law but said that "this will likely be more difficult now" noting that it must be adopted through consensus. He added that "it was politically dangerous to adopt the act in the form it had been approved on two readings as Moscow would view it as creating a loophole for independence."

...And Latinization
Commenting on the Tatar latinization issue, Mukhametshin cited Federation Affairs, National and Migration Policies Minister Aleksandr Blokhin as having told him that Moscow is afraid that pan-Turkic trends will spread, that Tatarstan will orient towards Turkey and that republic Russian-speaking residents will be offended. Blokhin proposed Tatarstan to switch to Arab script, Mukhametshin said. He also criticized the minister's order that urged all federal bodies in federation subjects to conduct their affairs in Russian.

Idel-Urals Project Reborn
"Respublika Tatarstan" on 12 July wrote that there are two possible ways for Tatarstan to develop its statehood. The first is setting the republic's special status within the federal constitution. The second is for Tatarstan to become the nucleus of a large territorial entity uniting the Middle Volga and the Urals. The paper noted that this project recalls the efforts to create an Idel-Ural state in 1917-18.

Memory Book Lists Repression Victims
The third volume of Tatarstan's "Memorial Book of Political Repression Victims" is ready for publishing, Tatar-inform reported on 13 July. The book lists republic residents that were accused of anti-state and counterrevolutionary crimes and those who had been shot or died in prisons in Tatarstan in 1917-1983. Among 3552 names included, there are 211 women, 2006 Tatars and 1052 Russians. The edition is backed by the republic cabinet, the Federal Security Service Board in Tatarstan, the republic prosecutors' office and the human rights organization Memorial is issued both in Russian and Tatar and will be given gratis to victims' families, libraries, museums and religious institutions.

2500 Companies Qualify for Tax Amnesty
Leonid Yakunin, the deputy head of the Russian Tax Ministry Board in Tatarstan, said on 12 July that republic companies and organizations owe 17.2 billion rubles to budgets of all levels and that 2500 companies that owe 80 percent of this sum can restructure their debts, Tatar-inform reported.

Per Minute Telephone Charge To Survive
The Russian Supreme Court announced that the introduction of per minute telephone fee by the Tatarstan cabinet conforms to federal laws, Tatar-inform reported on 18 July. The court has confirmed similar ruling of the Tatarstan Supreme Court that had rejected on 19 March a complaint of republic residents against the measure.

Elmet Schools to Connect to Internet
Tatarstan's Elmet District administration has allocated 1.7 million rubles for connecting all secondary schools in the district to the Internet, "Inform-kurier" reported on 19 July.

Tatenergo Waiting for Court Decision on Debt to UES
Tatenergo general manager Ilshat Fardiev said that the dispute over debts between his company and UES will be resolved in a court, AK&M reported on 19 July.

New Head in Elmet District
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 13 July appointed Rishat Abubakirov the new head of the Elmet District administration, Tatarstan Television reported. At a district council session the same day, Speaker Farid Mukhametshin praised Abubakirov's predecessor Foat Komarov for his work and said that his resignation was initiated not "from above" as usual but by himself. Abubakirov previously served as a Tatneft deputy general manager.

Kazan Helicopter Plant Praised for Marketing Policy
The Ekspert RA rating agency said the Kazan helicopter plant provides best marketing policy among Russian exporters, Tatar-inform reported on 19 July.

Former Tatenergo Chief Heads New Energy Company in Volga District
Former Tatenergo general manager Rasim Khaziakhmetov, who later served as Amurenergo managers board chairman, has been appointed general manager of the Volga Hydro-energy Cascade managing company that unites power stations of Nizhnii Novgorod, Saratov, Volgograd and Samara oblasts, Efir-inform reported on 13 July.

Another Mosque Near Kazan
A new mosque has opened in the Novo-Yudino residential area near Kazan where 2,000 Tatars live, Tatar-inform reported on 13 July.

Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker Restored
The Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker in Tatarstan's Nikolskoe village was resanctified on 14 July after its restoration. The Itera gas company contributed to the restoration.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Kremlin Official Says Bashkortostan Power-Sharing Treaty To Be Retained
Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of the Russian presidential staff, said that he does not exclude that power-sharing treaties with Bashkortostan and Tatarstan will be preserved, RIA-Novosti reported on 16 July.

Tatar High School Head Refuses to Replace Tatar Signs
Tatar gymnasium principle of Belebey, Bashkortostan, Nurmukhemmet Khoseinov told RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent on 17 July that he considered official orders to replace signs in Tatar there with ones in Bashkir and Russian to be "a violation of the rights of the Tatar people." And he has decided not to follow the directive.

Fatherland Branch Leader Positive on Cooperation With Unity
Fatherland leader in Bashkortostan Rustem Akhmadinurov told Bashinform on 17 July that his organization had been just as active in the republic's political life as the local Unity branch and that the two will cooperate in the future.

Bashkir Deputies Support Putin Pension Reform Bill
According to Bashkortostan media on 16 July, Duma deputies representing the republic, members of Fatherland-All Of Russia bloc Rim Bakiyev and Zaynulla Bagishayev, supported the draft bill on pension reform proposed by Putin and rejected the one offered by SPS leader Boris Nemtsov.

Republic Resumes Land Registration Program
Bashkortostan's State Committee on Land Resources so far has registered 45% of urban and 73% of agricultural lands in the republic, "Respublika Bashkortostan" reported on 18 July.

No Free Lunch for Local Officials?
The vice president of the Liberal Mission Fund Igor Klyamkin told the Moscow seminar on taxation problems in Russia on 15 July that his group has studied a complaint of an Ufa restaurant owner who said that local officials had demanded free lunches from her and then subjected her restaurant to numerous inspections when she refused.

Many Don't Qualify for Housing Loans in Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan's National Bank chairman Mukhamet Sagitdinov said on 17 July that quite often republic residents do not have sufficient income to obtain loans for apartments, although the local banks gave such an opportunity. He was supported by Ufa City Loan Housing Agency Anatoly Meyzler who said that for obtaining a single room apartment individual had to earn some 8500 rubles [$291] per month, two-room apartment -- 9500 rubles [$325] and more than 11,000 rubles [$378] to buy a three-room flat. The average monthly income in the republic is about 3,000 rubles [$102].

Russian Film Directors Invited to Work in Ufa
Bashkortostan State Cinema Studio is planning to invite a number of prominent Russian film directors for shooting new films about the republic, Bashinform reported on 16 July.

Bashkir Teenagers Participate in UNESCO Meeting
A group of Bashkir teenagers took part in the European Conference of Youth Leaders held by UNESCO in Varna, Bulgaria, "Respublika Bashkortostan" reported on 17 July. They were the only representatives of the Russian Federation there.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

SPS in Marii El Elects Leader
Valerii Kozhevnikov, who previously headed Democratic Choice of Russia in Marii El, was elected a Unity of Rightist Forces (SPS) in republic executive committee chairman, reported on 15 July.

Human Rights Defender Wins Suit Against Mordovenergo
Vasilii Guslyannikov, the head of the Mordovian Human Rights Center, has won a suit against Mordovenergo which he accused of illegally cutting off electricity, reported on 18 July. The court ordered Mordovenergo to pay Guslyannikov 200 rubles ($7) in compensation. Guslyannikov said he is satisfied with the verdict as it demonstrates one can turn to the courts for protection.

45 Percent of Mordovian Companies Face Losses
Mordovia's Economics Ministry on 13 July said that only 55 percent of enterprises in the republic are profitable, reported. All companies in ferrous metallurgy and medical industry are now profitable while in the housing-municipal services sector, 80 percent of companies face losses.

Mordovian Paper to Be Issued in Ulyanovsk
Ulyanovsk Oblast Governor Vladimir Shamanov on 12 July signed an order on the creation of a monthly Mordovian newspaper "Yalgat," VolgaInform reported. The project is part of the oblast's three-year program for developing national cultures and improving interethnic relations. It will be financed by the oblast government, as are two publications in Tatar and Chuvash there already.

SPS Branch Set Up in Mordovia
The Unity of Rightist Forces (SPS) in Mordovia on 14 July reorganized in the regional branch of political party and has become the 71st political formation registered in the republic, ITAR-TASS reported. The body elected general manager of the Orbita company Aleksandr Garmashov its leader and reelected Maksim Osovsky executive committee head.

Nizhnii Budget to Finance Restoration of Orthodox Churches
The Nizhnii Novgorod administration will finance the restoration of Orthodox churches in the city, Mayor Yurii Lebedev told IF-Region on 12 July. The same day, Lebedev met with priests of 13 city churches to discuss the issue.

Erzyans of Estonia, Mordovia to Boost Ties
A delegation of the Estonian Erzyan society Syatko is visiting Saransk to promote the development of Erzyan national culture and economic cooperation between Mordovia and Estonia, reported on 13 July. Visitors seek to arrange deliveries of books in Erzyan to Estonia and tours of Erzyan troupes there.

Family Sues Enlistment Office in Mordovia
Parents of Mordovian draftee Artem Garikov have filed a suit seeking to prove that their son is not fit for military service, reported on 15 July. The republic enlistment office called Garikov for service despite his left hand and leg being deformed. The court has appointed an expert examiner but Garikov's mother is demanding an independent one.

Anniversary of Murder of Imperial Family Marked in Nizhnii
Believers in Nizhnii Novgorod on 17 July held a religious procession to mark 83rd anniversary of the shooting of Russian Emperor Nikolai II and his family, IF-region reported.

Chechen Ethno-Cultural Body To Be Formed In Nizhnii
Olga Savinova, the Nizhnii Novgorod administration official in charge of public relations, said on 17 July that the Chechen national-cultural association will be formed in the city, IF-region reported. The body will become 29th national organization in Nizhnii, she said.

Orenburg Tatar Autonomy Calls on Muftis to Agree
The Council of the Orenburg Tatar national-cultural autonomy called on the leaders of the Orenburg and Buguruslan Muslim religious boards to hold tasks and solve their disputes through dialogue, reported on 12 July.

Samara Duma Demands Extradition of Three From Latvia
The Samara Oblast Duma on 13 July appealed to the State Duma calling on Moscow to urge the extradition of Samara residents Maksim Zhurkin and Sergei Solovei and Smolensk resident Dmitrii Gafarov from Latvia where they are serving a prison sentence, reported. The Russian citizens were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for attempting to blow up St. Peter's Cathedral in Riga. Samara Oblast deputy Gennadii Zvyagin told the news agency that 55,000 oblast residents had signed the appeal.

Beta-Radiation in Tolyatti Up Ten Times
Environment monitoring in Tolyatti has registered that beta-radiation has risen by a factor of ten over past several days, VolgaInform reported on 17 July.

Sverdlovsk Legislature Harmonizes Oblast Charter
The Sverdlovsk Oblast Duma on 13 July at a first plenary session in three months amended on third reading the Oblast Charter as a part of harmonization, Region-Inform reported.

Nuclear Energy Block To Be Constructed In Zarechnyi
The Beloyarsk nuclear power station on 12 July announced its plan to build by 2020 a new nuclear breeder reactor in Zarechnyi, Region-Inform reported. The 300-megawatt facility is intended to be used for research needs.

SPS Sues "Tyumenskaya pravda"
The Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) in Tyumen Oblast has filed a suit against "Tyumenskaya pravda" seeking 5,000 rubles in compensation for that paper's publication of false information, SPS local branch head Andrei Shupletsov told "Tyumenskaya liniya" on 13 July. He said he believes that the paper's efforts had led to a loss by his organization of a part of its sponsors.

Charity Fund Employs Ex-Prisoners
The Dimitrovgrad Charity Fund for Helping Ex-Prisoners in Ulyanovsk Oblast has set up affiliates in seven regions and abroad to provide employment for former convicts, VolgaInform reported on 12 July.

Bribery Up in Ural District
Presidential Envoy to the Ural District Petr Latyshev said on 13 July that the number of cases of bribery in the district has increased by 52 percent in 2001, UralBusinessConsulting reported. But he added that only a small part of such cases are ever registered by police.

Military Prosecutor Named for Volga-Ural Military District
Colonel Vladimir Melnikov, 44, previously the first deputy of the military prosecutor of the Volga military district, has been appointed military prosecutor of the Volga-Ural military district, Ural-press-inform reported on 13 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova