Bashkir President wins Suit against Yabloko / Bashkortostan Reaction to Putins initiatives
- RAKHIMOV WINS SUIT AGAINST YABLOKO.
The Beloretsk City Court, which is located
in Bashkorstan, ruled in favor of Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov
the lawsuit Rakhimov filed against Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii.
According to the court decision, Yavlinskii must publicly renounce his
accusations against Rakhimov and pay him 800,000 rubles in damages,
Daily reported on 27 May. The basis of Rakhimov's allegations was 300,000
leaflets distributed prior to the December 1999 State Duma elections in
Yabloko expressed support for Rakhimov's opponents. The leaflets called
Rakhimov's regime a "feudal nomenklatura" and called for "honest and wise"
leaders in the republic who would "not steal or lie, but serve the people,"
language that the court deemed damaging to Rakhimov's honor and dignity.
(from EWI RRR v5, n.21, 1.6.00)
BASHKORTOSTAN: VIEWS DIFFER FROM MOSCOW. The Bashkortostani reaction to
initiatives can be characterized as hidden irritation and insult. Putin's
were not completely unexpected. Even before his election, he had demanded
Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov bring republican laws into
with federal norms. When the republic did not rush to do this, Putin issued
famous decree of 11 May ordering the same thing (see EWI Russian Regional
, 24 May).
Speaking on republican television on 20 May Rakhimov said that Putin
not exceeded his authority. But that was as far as he was willing to go.
Rakhimov expressed doubt that the decrees would improve the social and
situation in the regions. Rakhimov called on Putin to clearly divide power
between the center and the regions. He said that the concept of joint
and regional control should be removed from the constitution and the powers
currently defined as being under joint control should be handed over to the
regions that have the ability to deal with them independently.
Rakhimov was skeptical about the appointment of Sergei Kirienko as the
of the Volga Federal District. "We will see what kind of aid he can provide
Asserting that no one could take away the republic's sovereignty, Rakhimov
called on the federal government to work together with the regions and not
their self-sufficiency. He stressed his belief in the formula "strong
regions-strong Russia," and denounced as baseless any attacks on the
and its leadership for having "special privileges" and engaging in
He pointed out that many regions violated Russian law and that it was not
to expect Bashkortostan alone to bring its laws into conformity.
According to Otechestvo party leader and State Duma Member Rim Bakiev,
does not make sense to lump together donor regions like Bashkortostan and
recipient regions that are dependent on subsidies from the federal budget
survive. He claimed that during the years of sovereignty, the republic
>from around 70th place to become one of Russia's leaders in terms ofsocial and
economic development. The republic has also effectively used the tax
that it collected but did not send to the federal government. He said that
presidential representatives should focus on providing aid to the regions
improving living standards, building industry, and reviving agriculture.
thinks that the regions and federal government should work on these goals
The republican authorities were particularly unhappy that Putin
Bashkortostan in the Volga district rather than the Urals region where it
traditionally belongs. Rakhimov claimed that the designation would hurt the
that have developed between Bashkortostan and the Ural regions in recent
Republican Forestry Mininster Rim Kazakkulov said that the Samara and
Novgorod forestry industries "which already dictate to the regional
of these regions how to use forestry reserves" would threaten
resources. Many local observers predict dire economic consequences
creation of the district, but these are largely without foundation.
Realistically, however, the Bashkortostan authorities fear the development
economic ties with neighboring Volga regions which tend to be more liberal
market-oriented than Bashkortostan, where the state has almost total
over the economy. - Igor Rabinovich in Ufa
(from EWI RRR v5, n.21, 1.6.00)