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Tatar Activists Demand Renewal Of Moscow-Kazan Power-Sharing Treaty

Members of the Tatar Public Center (TIU) NGO protest in Kazan on August 30,

KAZAN -- Some 15 members of the Tatar Public Center (TIU) NGO rallied in the capital of Russia's Tatarstan region, Kazan, on August 30, demanding the renewal of the Kazan-Moscow treaty on power sharing.

The protest was held in Kazan's Karim Tinchurin Park on the day of the 27th anniversary of the declaration of Tatarstan's sovereignty on August 30, 1990.

The demonstrators were holding placards, saying "We demand equal partnership between Russian Federation and Republic of Tatarstan based on the declaration of Tatarstan's sovereignty!"

The power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Kazan treaty signed on July 27, 2007, expired several weeks ago, and Moscow has been hesitating to prolong it despite Tatar lawmakers' demands for it to do so.

The TIU, with many branches across Tatarstan, is an NGO that campaigns to preserve Tatars' national identity, language, and culture.

It chairman, Rafis Kashapov, was sentenced to three years in jail in September 2015 on separatism charges over his articles harshly criticizing Russia's annexation of Tatar-populated Crimea from Ukraine, and Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.