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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 3, 2001

3 August 2001
President Says Globalization Threatens Ethnic Values
Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev said on 1 August that he considers that the Genoa events were not merely hooligan actions, Rosbalt reported. He said that though their methods may be too aggressive, it is a real protest by a part of the population against too rapid globalization and the erosion of unique geographical and ethnic features. It might show that some national values are still unrealized, he said, and added that it cannot be denied that globalization brings "something negative."

Shaimiev said that the UNESCO award given to Buinsk, where Tatars, Chuvashs, and Russians live together, marks a new stage in the development of interethnic and intercultural relations between them.

Every Third Company Faces Losses
Sergei Kogogin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Economy and Industry Minister, told the republic's Security Council on 27 July that very few of Tatarstan's companies are able to produce goods that meet international standards, while 35.3 percent face losses. The number of companies in the latter category is falling only very slowly, republic media reported.

Bankruptcy Committee Enjoys Support From Security Council
The Tatarstan Security Council on 27 July discussed the activity of the republic's Committee on Bankruptcy and the republic's media. Committee head Aleksei Semin has recently been sharply criticized and many enterprise heads have called for his dismissal. At a recent hearing in the parliament on the Committee's activity, numerous violations were reported. President Shaimiev, however, said at the council meeting that the committee "performs useful work and must be supported, although many people do not like Semin."

"Zvezda Povolzhya" on 2 August commented that "this was a victory for Semin." But Shaimiev said that in future the committee will deal with only those companies that face losses, while those with the potential for survival will be beyond its competence. The same weekly reported that representatives of the federal inspection in the republic refused to participate in the Security Council meeting on the grounds that this body is "unconstitutional." Meanwhile on 1 August Shaimiev signed a decree on preventing deliberate bankruptcy in the republic that orders the creation of a coordinating council of experts that will develop corresponding measures, "Respublika Tatarstan" reported.

Scholars Revive Greater Volga Way
An international conference on "The Great Volga Way" is to be held on 5-16 August under the aegis of UNESCO, IRCICA and the Council of Europe to strengthen cultural, scientific, and trade-economic ties between the countries and cities of the Great Volga Way as a part of the preparations for the Kazan millenium, Tatar-inform reported. The forum participants from the USA, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Turkey and Iran plan to discuss ways to preserve cultural values, measures to revive the ancient trade route and improve the environment and to set up an international association of the Great Volga Way cities.

Three Cholera Patients Discharged From Hospital
The State Sanitary Service said on 2 August that three patients infected with cholera have recovered while 60 more have been hospitalized.

Tatneft To Produce Tires With German Equipment
Tatneft has signed an agreement with Germany's TROESTER on the delivery of equipment for tire production, "Vremya i dengi" reported on 2 August.

KamAZ Uses Extra Gas
Chelnygaz has warned KamAZ that it will cut gas deliveries to the company by 30 pecent as KamAZ exceeds its quota and uses a share of gas intended for other consumers, "Vecherniye Chelny" reported on 2 August.

Pharmaceuticals Prices Reduced
The Tatkhimfarmpreparaty drug company announced on 31 July that it will reduce by 10 percent prices for most of the househood drugs it produces as of 1 August, Tatar-inform reported.

Tatarstan's Population Holds Record For Reading
Communications Minister Renat Zalyalov told the ministry board on 31 July that Tatarstan preserved its leading position in Russia in terms of subscriptions to periodical publications with 625 copies per thousand of the population.

Traffic Accidents Statistics Updated
Rifkat Minnikhanov, the head of the Interior Ministry's Road Traffic Security Board, said that 166 residents of Tatarstan died in accidents over the past two months, 111 of them in July, Efir-inform reported on 2 August.

Islamic Press In Russia Faces Distribution Problems
Khalil Sharif, the chief editor of the Islamic newspaper "Islam nury" which is published in Chally, told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on 1 August that his newspaper is published in a printrun of some 2,500 copies and is distributed to 29 regions within Russia. But he said that none of the Islamic newspapers printed in Russia, among them Tatarstan's "Iman," Saratov's "Musulmanskii vestnik," and Samara's "Azan," is included in the country-wide catalogue, which means that Muslims from other regions cannot subscribe to them.

360 Companies Did Not Pay Taxes
Shamil Davletgireev, the deputy head of the Federal Tax Police Service's Tatarstan Board, said on 31 July that his service collected 5.2 million rubles during the first half of the year, or more than four times more than during the same period last year, Tatarstan media reported. He said that the service registered 360 organizations that instead of paying taxes spent money on their own needs.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Parliament Speaker To Represent Bashkortostan In Commission On Power Sharing
President Murtaza Rakhimov has approved the candidacy of parliament speaker Konstantin Tolkachev to represent Bashkortostan on the Russian presidential commission on power-sharing headed by deputy presidential chief-of-staff Dmitrii Kozak, Bashinform reported on 1 August.

Officials On Importance Of Power-Sharing Treaties
Bashkortostan's parliament speaker Tolkachev said on 1 August that the signing of power-sharing treaties between Moscow and regions constituted a "break-through" in the development of Russia. He said the compromise reached between the center and the regions had saved the country from disintegration, and that thanks to these treaties Russia has become a federative state, Bashinform reported. Tolkachev stressed that the treaty-based relations "have no alternative" other than to return to the administrative-command system of state management. He noted that it is impossible to create a legal state without developing treaty-based relations, and that such treaties are a main source of law. He added that it is necessary for the republic to defend its legal system, and that system has proved its efficiency. Ildus Adihamov, the Constitutional Court chairman, considers the intentions of some federation subjects to denounce the bilateral treaties they have signmed as an attempt to offload responsibilities onto Moscow. Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, the first entities that signed power-sharing treaties, are now the calmest and the most stably developing federation subjects, he said.

Tatar National-Cultural Autonomy Seeks Registration
The Tatar national-cultural autonomy in Bashkortostan still has not been officially registered, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 31 July. Previously, the autonomy appealed to the Volga District Prosecutors' Office to complain that the republican Justice Ministry refused to register it, and received a reply from the Volga District Prosecutor with a promise that the organization will be registered by 1 August. The hearing of a suit filed by the autonomy against the ministry was scheduled for mid-August.

Hunger-Strike Participants Convicted
The Bashkortostan Supreme Court has confirmed the verdict of the Dyurtile district court that warned one and fined a second participant in a recent political hunger-strike, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 31 July. The strikers were protesting violations of Tatars' rights. They said that they will file suit in the Russian Supreme Court.

85,000 New Passports Handed Out In Bashkortostan
Farit Abdrakhmanov, the head of the Interior Ministry's Passport-Visa Service, told on 1 August that some 85,000 residents of the republic have received new passports containing insert pages with Bashkortostan's state emblem and signs in the Bashkir language.

Housing Prices Will Increase Next Year
The Municipal Services Minister Pavel Kachkayev said on 2 August that the price of municipal services will increase next year to 75 percent of their cost compared to the current 65 percent, Bashinform reported. But payments will not exceed 22 percent from of families' total income.

100 Students Admitted To Higher Schools To Study Tatar
The Bashkortostan Pedagogical University opened a new specialty in the Tatar and English languages, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 1 August. Some 100 students have been admitted to the republic's higher educational institutions to study theTatar language. In the whole of Bashkortostan, which has a Tatar population of 1.5 million, there are only two professors of the Tatar language and not a single professor of Tatar literature.

80 Percent OF Marriages End In Divorce
The State Statistics Committee spokesman said on 1 August that 11,000 marriages and 9,000 divorces were registered during the first six months of this year, RFE/RL's correspondent reported. About 500 migrants arrived in the republic during the same period, some 40 percent of whom were Tatars, while Russians and Bashkirs each accounted for some 20 percent of that number.

Orphanage Set Up In Teteshle District
An orphanage opened on 1 August in Teteshle district, Bashinform reported. The institution can accommodate 20 children and teenagers. According to the Labor and Social Care Ministry, the number of applicants for housing in orphanages is growing as there are 600 needy families, 230 single mothers, and 82 children being under guardianship in the district.

Ship Under Republic Patronage Praised For Good Service
Baltic navy base commander Vice-Admiral Mardusin sent a letter of thanks to Bashkortostan's leaders praising the good service of the crew of the vessel "Bashkortostan," which is comprised of draftees from Bashkortostan, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 31 July.

Bashkortostan's Tatars Support Latinization
The coordinating council of Tatar public organizations in Bashkortostan has called on the Tatarstan authorities to speed up the introduction of Tatar Latin script, RFE/RL's correspondent reported on 31 July.

Minister Comments On Republic Finances
Finance Minister Foat Khantimerov told AK&M on 31 August that Bashkortostan has the tenth largest budget in the Russian Federation and that it is among 12 regions that provide two thirds of the federal budget. He said that at the beginning of the year the republic's state debt totaled 1.8 billion rubles ($62 million) or 5.6 percent of the republic 2001 revenues, and that it has fallen so far to 1.5 billion rubles. Bashkortostan was given the "B-, a stable prognosis" rating by Standard & Poor's for this year and a "B3, the stable prognosis" rating by Moody's. Khantimerov said that Bashkortostan plans to repay by March 2002 the $45 million credit it received from HSBC and the Moscow People's Bank in March 1998. And he added that the republic is negotiating with several foreign banks on a five-year credit for investing in the oil and petrochemical sectors.

Telephone Networks Increased By 19,000 In 2001
Bashinforsvyaz said that the number of telephones in the republic increased during the first half of the year by 19,000, Bashinform reported on 2 August.

Sellers Punished For Violating Rules of Alcohol Sale
Bashinform reported on 1 August that 86 vendors in Ufa have been disciplined for selling alcohol and tobacco to minors.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Chuvash Government Adopts Anti-Drug Program
The Chuvash cabinet has approved a 10 million rubles three years program on fighting drug abuse and trafficking in the republic, Volga-Inform reported on 1 August.

Every Third Young Man In Chuvashia Is Unemployed
The State Service for Employment Of the Population in Chuvashia said that every third resident of the republic between the ages of 16 and 30 is jobless, Volga-Inform reported on 1 August. The share of women among the unemployed has fallen over the past year from 70 to 67 percent, while that of persons with higher and medium professional education has increased from 35.2 to 41.7 percent.

Anti-AIDS Center In Chuvashia Helps HIV-Infected To Create Families
The Chuvash anti-AIDS Center set up an acquaintance service for HIV-carriers to promote creating "HIV-positive families," Volga-Inform reported on 1 August.

Chelyabinsk Authorities Develop Relations With Religious Leaders
Representatives of different religions and Chelyabinsk Oblast administration officials took part in a round-table devoted to the legislative promotion of relations between state and religions, Ural-press-inform reported on 27 July. The participants agreed to hold regular meetings between the authorities and representatives of various religions.

Mordovia's Merkushkin Meets Industrial 'Generals'
Mordovian President Nikolai Merkushkin met with general managers of the republic's leading companies Lisma, Orbita, and Elektrovypryamitel to discuss the financial situation, payment of wages and the introduction of new technologies, reported on 1 August.

New Culture Minister In Mordovia
Petr Tultayev, previously the head of the Saransk administration culture board, has been appointed Mordovia's Culture Minister, reported on 1 August. Saransk Mayor Ivan Nenyukov actively opposed the appointment, saying that "the struggle among bureaucrats in the republic's government can negatively affect the career of an excellent specialist who has done a lot for the development of culture in Saransk".

Saransk Trolley-Bus Drivers Stop Striking
Saransk trolley-bus drivers stopped their strike on 28 July after Mayor Ivan Nenyukov unambiguously demanded that they resume their work, calling the strike illegal. Nenyukov promised to raise the drivers' wages by 20 percent, reported. The strikers initially demanded a 50 percent wage increase.

Khodyrev To Reduce Oblast Administration Staff
Governor-elect of Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast Gennadii Khodyrev on 1 August said that the oblast administration staff must be reduced in number, the Nizhnii Novgorod telegraph agency reported. He said that many departments within the oblast administration are formed on the basis of family ties and that a personnel reshuffle may take place. But he noted that he is not a supporter of a total personnel shake-up.

Children From Chechnya Spend Vacation In Nizhnii
Twenty seven children from Chechnya spent their holidays in resorts in Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast resorts and underwent necessary medical treatment, the Nizhnii Novgorod telegraph agency reported on 30 July.

Customs Employees Sued For Bribery
The Ural customs board's security service during the first half of the year brought legal action against seven customs employees, accusing them of bribery, Region-Inform reported on 30 July. The previous year, 28 customs employees were convicted.

Mufti Of Asian Part Of Russia Visits Kurgan Oblast
The Supreme Mufti Of the Muslim Religious Board of the Asian part of Russia, Nafigulla Ashir, arrived in Kurgan Oblast on 31 July to visit mosques under construction in Kurgan and Shumikha and meet with the oblast's Muslims, "Ekho Moskvy v Kurgane" reported on 31 July.

Kurgan Media Ignore Journalist Disappearance
No official comments or journalist statements have been published in the Kurgan media since Vladimir Kirsanov, the chief editor of "Kurganskiye vesti," disappeared ten weeks ago, reported on 30 July. According to a poll on his disappearance conducted by the Kurgan State University, 78 percent of those questioned connected this fact with Kirsanov's critical publications about economic and political problems in the oblast, 77 percent said that local media should express their position more actively, and two thirds evaluated the journalist's disappearance as an attack on the mass media and a restriction on the right to receive information.

Israeli-Ural Economic Forum To Be Held
Businessmen from Perm Oblast and Israel have agreed to hold an Israeli-Ural economic forum to promote joint projects, Region-Inform-Perm reported on 30 July.

Ayatskov Says Volga District Capital Won't Be Moved
Saratov Oblast Governor Dmitrii Ayatskov said that discussions about moving the capital of the Volga Federal District from Nizhnii Novgorod to Samara or Saratov are "not serious," SaratovBusiness-Consulting reported on 30 July. He said that people must not be judged by their party membership, and added that Khodyrev is now the best among equals because the people elected him. Ayatskov praised Khodyrev's decision to suspend his membership in the KPRF.

Saratov Oblast To Sell Trolley-Buses To Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia's Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Danilo Vuksanovich, on a visit to Saratov Oblast signed agreements with oblast leaders on the delivery of Engels-produced trolley-buses to Yugoslavia, setting up a service center there, creating a joint trade and industry chamber, and on cooperation with the Saratov television and radio company, VolgaInform reported on 1 August.

Fund Of Support For Ex-Prisoners Created In Nizhnii Tagil
The Nizhnii Tagil administration set up a non-profit fund to support ex-prisoners which is intended to provide social, legal and psychological rehabilitation, housing, employment, and health protection for former convicts, Region-Inform reported on 1 August. There are six penitentiary institutions in Nizhnii Tagil.

Tyumen Trade Unions Against Labor Code
Tyumen Oblast trade unions have appealed to the courts to annul the results of the adoption of the draft Labor Code by the Duma on first reading, "Tyumenskaya liniya" reported on 30 July. The trade unions argue that the Duma violated a procedure of discussion of the law provided by legislation. Previously, Tyumen trade unions held several pickets protesting the draft Labor Code.

16 Drug Traffickers Imprisoned In Tobolsk In 2001
The Tobolsk urban court of Tyumen Oblast has sentenced 16 drug traffickers to 7-12 years of imprisonment this year, and 101 residents were punished for drug use, "Tyumenskaya liniya" reported on 30 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova