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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 20, 2000

20 July 2000
Russian Constitutional Court Calls To Change Tatar Constitution
14 July 2000

The republican daily Vechernyaya Kazan published on 14 July a list of items from the Tatarstan Constitution which were recognized by Russian Constitutional Court at its session on 27 June to be contradicting to the federal legislation. They are following: the item 1 saying that the Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign democratic state expressing will and interests of the whole multinational people of the republic; the sovereignty and state power come from the people; the state sovereignty is inalienable state of the Republic of Tatarstan; the item 59 saying that the Republic of Tatarstan defines originally its state-legal status, solves issues of political, economic, social-culture development; laws of the Republic of Tatarstan has preference on the whole its territory if they don t contradict to the international obligations of Tatarstan; the items 61 and 62 saying that the Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign state, a subject of international law, associated with the Russian Federation Russia on the basis of a Treaty on mutual delegating powers and issues of control; the Republic of Tatarstan+ enters into relations with other states, signs international treaties, exchanges diplomatic, consular, trade, and other representations, participates in the activity of international organizations, treating the principles of international law. The Russian Constitutional Court noted in its document that all these paragraphs lose their force and are not subject to performing by courts as they don t correspond to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Speaker Comments On Tatar Parliament Activity
3 July 2000

Tatarstan s State Council Chairman, Farit Mukhametshin, held on 3 July a news conference devoted to the parliament activity in the first half of the year. Mukhametshin commented on the issue of contradictions between the republican and federal legislation. Twenty five laws from 300 adopted by Tatarstan s parliament during 10 years were recognized to be contradicting to the federal legislation. Tatarstan Prosecutor s Office has already brought a protest on 8 of them. This is laws on licensing, on collecting non-ferrous metals, on administrative responsibility in the sphere of ethyl spirit production, on environment, on order of introduction of state of emergency, on order of government, on responsibility for infringing on traffic rules in the republic. A protest concerning use of a new Russian passport in the republic is also brought.

Referring to the reports that Tyva parliament changed its laws within 3 hours, and Kalmyk President in a day, Mukhametshin noted that we don t intend to act in such way. He said that Prosecutor s Office in the republic has even more power than Russian legislation provides. The republican Prosecutor s Office was given the right of legislative initiative, and republican laws will be brought into harmony with federal legislation not only using protests of the Prosecutor s Office but also through amendments and changes of laws it will propose. Commenting on the demand by Russian Constitutional Court to change some paragraphs of the Tatar Constitution, Mukhametshin said that most likely the Prosecutor s Office will not bring a protest over the Constitution as a whole but will confine to amendments.

Mukhametshin reported that the so-called letter of four was sent to Putin signed by Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev, Farit Mukhametshin, Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov, and Bashkortostan speaker, where they suggested to revise some paragraphs of the Russian Constitution. Mukhametshin said that Putin orally approved the letter. Mukhametshin said he had a long conversation with the Putin s Chief-of-Staff Aleksandr Voloshin concerning this letter.

Mukhametshin informed that a reform of Tatarstan s State Council is being prepared. He said most likely it will consist of two chambers, the lower which will be professional and the upper where heads of local administrations will be represented.

Mukhametshin said that Tatarstan s State council will hold an anniversary session on 28 August to mark the 10 years of the Declaration on Sovereignty where Shaimiev is going to address a big speech. He said the sovereignty gave very much to the republic adding that we might be criticized as we couldn t manage to perform everything, and more things could be done, but nevertheless this decade will remain a glorious period in Tatarstan s history. He continued that the republican authorities are against the frontal conflict with Moscow. He said that every anniversary of the sovereignty Tatarstan received congratulations from Russian President, both chambers of the Federal Assembly, Russian government. He noted that further growth of the republic s people wealth can be achieved only in conditions of consent.

Vyakhirev Satisfied With Tatarstan s Payments
14 July 2000

The head of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, Rem Vyakhirev, said during his visit to Kazan on 14 July that Tatarstan is a decent consumer unlike other regions, the daily Vremya i Dengi reported. Vyakhirev made his comments at a meeting devoted to prospects of the cooperation of Gazprom and Tatarstan s government for the next two years. In the first half of the year, Tatarstan received 7.8 billion cubic meters of gas from the total of 14 billion promised by Gasprom, and increased production of petrochemical companies current year by 11 percent. The republic paid completely for received gas, and made 65 percent of payment with cash. Vyakhirev participated on 14 July in a celebration of the anniversary of Tattransgaz, the Gazprom s branch in Tatarstan.

Shaimiev Gets One More Internet Site
18 July 2000

Personal site of Tatarstan s President Mintimer Shaimiev in the Internet,, which is expected to be an alternative to his official Internet-page, was recently registered, the daily Vremya i Den gi reported on 18 July referring to Ephir-Info. The site is still being designed and contains currently only a portrait of the President.

Government Concerned With Independent Oil Companies Activities
15 July 2000

The state adviser to Tatarstan s President, Renat Muslimov, said on 15 July that more than 4 million tons of oil will be extracted current year by 26 independent oil companies acting on Tatarstan s territory. Muslimov made his comments at a meeting held by Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev which discussed problems independent oil companies faced in their activities. Shaimiev criticized at the meeting existing practice when for receiving permission to drill an oil-well, these companies have to collect 20 signatures of officials from different authority bodies, and charged to simplify the procedure.

Chechen Charity Fund Official Calls For Aid To Civilians
19 July 2000

The Chally branch of the TPC arranged a news conference by Aiza Abubakirova, the vice-president of the charity fund Feniks, created at the new Chechen government, Tatar Radio reported. Abubakirova told reporters that her mission is to seek help for Chechnya's civilians, whose current predicament is disastrous. She said women, children, and old people are totally isolated in the republic and lack soap and medicines. Khizir Israilov, the head of Tatarstan s Chechen community, who also participated in the news conference, said that Chechnya's civilians will die if they have to endure another winter without humanitarian aid in war conditions. Israilov informed that in 1991, the Chechen population totaled 1,700 thousand people, 200,000 people were killed during the first Chechen war and 20,000 during the second one. Some 700,000 people left the republic last few years. He said that currently the population of Chechnya totals some 600,000-700,000.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova