Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Report -- 1 July 2002
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Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Report
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1 July 2002
WEEKLY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Kirienko Admits 'Political Grounding' Of Stall In
Kazan-Ufa Oil Industry Talks
Russia's presidential envoy to the Volga Federal
District, Sergei Kirienko, told a press conference in
Nizhny Novgorod on 26 June that in his opinion the
"problem of merging the oil-chemical complexes in
Tatarstan and Bashkortostan was a political one rather
than an economic issue," tatnews.ru reported. He
generally approved of the integration project, he said,
"because Bashkortostan has excessive oil-processing
facilities, while Tatarstan has a surplus of oil."
Kirienko said that it was "economically inappropriate"
that Bashkortostan is facing difficulties seeking oil to
load its oil refineries at the same time that Tatarstan
is building its own oil processing plant in Tuben Kama.
He added that Tatarstan's government previously made
steps towards integration but Bashkortostan "recently
began to decline work on this agreement, although they
previously supported it. Here," Kirienko added, "I'm
absolutely on Tatarstan's side."
During the Fall of 2001, a Tatar delegation led by Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Industry Sergei Kogogin
received a cold welcome from Ural Rakhimov, head of the
Bashneftekhim company and President Murtaza Rakhimov's
son who, in Ufa, took back previously given consent from
the Bashkir side to begin integrating the oil industry by
saying that the Tatneft oil company "had no future" and
"there were no oil processing industry experts in
Tatarstan." Despite Bashkir Prime Minister Rafael
Baydavletov's attempts to "soften" the effect of Ural's
words during that visit, the sides have since then never
discussed integration involving exchanges of shares
packages in the two republics' oil-related industries.
Tatar Deputy Says Legislation On State Languages In
Tatarstan 'To Be Improved'
The chairman of the Tatarstan State Council Commission on
Education, Languages, and Ethnic Issues, Razil Valiev,
told RFE/RL's Kazan bureau on 26 June that his commission
will propose changes to the state program for
implementing the law on state languages in the republic.
He said that although the law on state languages giving
Tatar and Russian equal official status in the republic
was adopted 10 years ago, so far the Tatar language has
failed to gain as broad usage as Russian, especially in
economics. He also added that the teaching system of the
Tatar language has not yet been improved to ensure
continuous and comprehensive courses from kindergarten to
the university level.
Valiev noted that Tatarstan's deputies managed to
preserve the provision saying that all of Tatarstan's
laws, decrees, and official resolutions are to written
both in Tatar and Russian in the amended fundamental law
of the republic.
Valiev said that the Tatar parliament will also work on
legislation stipulating the responsibilities for
violating the equality of the Tatar and Russian languages
in the republic in order to vitalize the 1994 program on
implementing the state languages act.
Oil-Quality Bank To Mean Less Oil Revenue For Tatarstan,
The president of the Transneft oil transport company,
Semen Vainshtok, told "Vremya Novostei" in Moscow on 27
June that some experts have already prepared a system of
compensation payments that will award Russian producers
of higher-quality oil because "it's important to put in
place methods regulating the payments of those who give
good oil to those who give very good oil." Currently, the
country's export oil pipelines transport a mixture of
heavy density, poorer quality Ural oil from such regions
as Tatarstan and Bashkortostan and lighter Siberian oil
of higher quality. "Vremya Novostei" also quoted the
Russian deputy minister of energy, Vladimir Stanev, as
saying that due to the absence of the aforementioned
compensation system known as the "oil-quality bank,"
producers of light oils annually lose some $250 million
Kasyanov Avoids Discussion On Wages Arrears At KamAZ...
According to "Kommersant" on 27 June, during his visit to
the KamAZ auto concern in Chally the previous day,
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov "quickly handled
the questions of [KamAZ] workers asking whether their
salaries will be paid in time" by saying: "in 2001 your
salaries were delayed for one year and now the delay is
only several months." Both Kasyanov and Tatar President
Mintimer Shaimiev said that the salaries and possible
dismissals at the auto giant "depended on its
..As Klebanov Calls One Of KamAZ Vehicles 'Fantastic'
The same day RIA Novosti quoted Russian Minister of
Industry and Science Ilya Klebanov, who also visited
KamAZ on 26 June, as calling the cabriolet version of the
popular and low-priced Oka car "a fantastic automobile,
leaving Mercedeses far behind," and promised to buy one
for himself "after saving up some money." This tuned-up
version of the Oka reportedly costs 100,000 rubles
Parliament Officials Discuss Future Agenda Before Going
Tatarstan's State Council Presidium on 24 June passed a
resolution saying that this year the parliament will go
on leave from 1 July until 5 September, RFE/RL's Kazan
bureau reported on 28 June. Among the topics included on
the State Council's September agenda is consideration of
a draft Administrative Code which will cover areas not
mentioned by the new Russian Administrative Code that
goes into force on 1 July.
..While Commission Upholds Prosecutor's Protest
Regarding Trade Union Law
The State Council Commission on Social Issues, Children
and Youth Affairs on 27 June recommended that the
parliament satisfy the protest of Tatarstan's prosecutor,
Kafil Amirov, who demanded that the republican law on
trade unions be abolished for violating a similar federal
law, RFE/RL Kazan's bureau reported.
Unlike the federal document, Tatarstan's law states that
trade unions must be formally registered. The republican
law also stated that no less than 10 people can establish
a trade union, while Russian law allows any individual
over 14 to do so. In addition, the prosecutor pointed to
the supremacy of federal law, which offers flexible
criteria for creating territorial alliances of trade
Drug Enforcement In Chally
According to the Efir TV company on 27 June, 3.6 kilos of
drugs (including 991 grams of heroin) were seized by
police in Chally thus far in 2002. Several
drug-trafficking channels were reportedly blocked, most
of them coming from Tajikistan through Orenburg Oblast.
Some 1,880 drug addicts are officially registered in
Tatarstan's second city and 255 crimes were committed by
them this year, including 27 robberies and three murders.
Meanwhile, 17 drug addicts died during 2002 due to
suicides, murders, drug overdoses, and AIDS.
Nevertheless, the media claims that drug addiction --
which reached its peak in Chally in 1998 -- was going
down, though consumption of beer among youths has
Chally Recruitment Figures
Chally Military Commissioner Anas Sadikov told Efir on 26
June that 559 recruits from his city joined the Russian
Army during the spring draft of 2002. He said there is a
decline in the number of men joining the service in good
health, adding that the number of those dismissed from
service because of mental problems or AIDS increased this
year to 300.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
WEEKLY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Congress Promotes Return Of Bashkirs To Republic
RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 23 June that the
second World Bashkir Congress on 14-15 June promoted the
use of the Bashkir language in all state bodies and
educational institutions. Participants called for
research into the historical roots of the republic's
population, a measure that aims, the correspondent
commented, at registering a part of Bashkortostan's
Tatars as Bashkirs during the Russian census in October.
The forum also stated its support for the nationalities
policy of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov.
Participants suggested that Bashkirs living outside
Bashkortostan be invited to return to the republic. The
head of the Uzbek Bashkir national organization, Ilshat
Khasanov, suggested that Bashkirs follow the example of
the Jews in returning to their homeland. A resolution
passed by the congress also included points about the
necessity of state support for Bashkirs returning to the
republic and of providing them with land. The resolution
also stressed the necessity of composing and adopting by
the end of this year a program on the development of the
Bashkir people and including it as a part of the state
program titled "Bashkortostan's Peoples."
The appeal to the Bashkir people adopted at the forum
calls Bashkortostan one of the foundations of the Russian
Federation and promotes the strengthening of religion and
the physical health of the population. The appeal to
Bashkortostan's peoples stresses the multiethnic nature
of the republic and says that Bashkirs will contribute to
increasing interethnic concord and cooperation.
Ufa Said To Want Only Minor Amendments To Power-Sharing
Proposals on amending the power-sharing treaty between
Bashkortostan and Russia are to be presented to President
Rakhimov by 3 July, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported
on 23 June. Proposals are to be made by a working group
headed by State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev
and including Bashkir presidential administration head
Ildar Gimaev, Bashkir Constitutional Court Chairman Ildus
Adigamov, and former State Secretary and current member
of the Presidential Council Mansur Ayupov. The
correspondent cited an unidentified source as saying that
the republic's leadership would like to keep the document
nearly unchanged, adding only one extra protocol.
Official Links Reduction In Drug Addiction To War In
The head of Bashkortostan's drug-addiction treatment
center, Ildar Baikov, told a press conference in Ufa on
25 June that if republican authorities do not take urgent
measures, they could lose control of the drug problem in
Bashkortostan. The rate of drug addiction in
Bashkortostan is about 30 per 100,000 citizens, Baikov
said (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 25 June 2002).
The number of drug addicts to register this year has been
reduced, however, by 20 percent in comparison with 2001.
Baikov said this is the result of antiterrorism
operations in Afghanistan, which have led to a decrease
in the amount of illegal drugs being trafficked to
Bashkortostan. Baikov also called for the adoption of
stricter legislation against illegal drug trafficking and
sales in Russia. Baikov told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir
Service the same day that a draft law developed by the
Bashkir legislature on this topic was not supported in
Republican Farms Told To Return Misused Funds
Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister Shamil Vakhitov told a
republic-wide seminar of agricultural manufacturers in
the Ilishevskii Raion on 26 June that the audit conducted
by the Russian Finance Ministry on Bashkortostan's farms
revealed embezzlement of 15 million rubles ($477,000)
throughout the republic. The ministry audited the use by
farms of state subsidies in 2000-2001 and the first
quarter of 2002. It found that more than 1.7 million
rubles were improperly used in the Tuimazy Raion, 725,000
rubles ($23,000) in the Buzdyak Raion, 541,000 rubles
($17,000) in the Sterletamaq Raion, and 324,000 rubles
($10,000) in the Davlekan Raion. Vakhitov urged
agricultural manufacturers to return the misused funds,
or else, he said, state subsidies for this year will be
reduced by the amount that was misappropriated.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
WEEKLY REVIEW FROM IDEL-URAL REGION
Demand For Putin Busts Grows
Demand for cast-iron busts of Russian President Vladimir
Putin is growing, Ural-Press-Inform reported on 25 June.
Kusinskii Mashinostroitelnyi Zavod in Chelyabinsk Oblast
issues some 15 busts a month. Administrations of krais,
oblasts, cities, and raions as well as legal entities are
the main customers, the plant officials told the agency.
The busts, weighing 45 kilograms, cost 36,000 rubles
($1,145). Production began in 2001.
Stepankov Comments On Merger Of Komi-Permyak Okrug, Perm
Deputy presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District
Valentin Stepankov praised the strategy of merger of
Russia's regions, Region-Inform-Perm reported on 21 June.
Stepankov stressed that economic realities proves the
necessity of such merger, adding that issues of
interethnic relations should be resolved correctly.
Stepankov commented on plans for the merger of the Perm
Oblast and Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug, calling them a
complex issue. He said he does not think that the
Komi-Permyak Okrug leadership is creating obstacles to
the process because it fears losing its independence.
Convicted Businessman Seeks To Repeat Success In Nizhnii
Nizhnii Novgorod businessman Andrei Klimentyev, who has
been convicted in court twice, announced on 25 June that
he will run in the Nizhnii Novgorod mayoral elections
slated for 14 September, "Kommersant" reported on 27
June. Klimentyev won the 1998 mayoral campaign by
collecting 2 percentage points more than then-Mayor
Sergei Gorin but the race results then were announced
invalid and Klimentyev was sentenced to six years in
prison for loan fraud. In 2001, after having served his
term of in prison, Klimentyev took part in the
gubernatorial elections in which came fifth with 10
Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his meeting with
Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast Governor Gennadii Khodyrev on 24
June, recommended the governor take the elections under
vigilant control, strana.ru reported the same day.
Khodyrev told the agency that "not a single candidacy for
the post delighted the Russian president."
"Kommersant" also named on 25 June incumbent Mayor Yurii
Lebedev, State Duma Deputies Vadim Bulavinov and Dmitrii
Savelyev, and Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast Legislative
Assembly Deputy Chairman Mikhail Dikin as possible
Alternative Service Detachment In Nizhnii Resumes Its
Work In Hospital
Participants in an experiment on alternative civil
service in Nizhnii Novgorod continued performing their
duties in the First Gradskaya Hospital, "Nizhegorodskie
novosti" reported on 27 June. The decision was made
following the meeting with Mayor Yurii Lebedev, strana.ru
reported on 25 June. Lebedev suggested that 20 servicemen
defend in a court their right to pass alternative service
and guaranteed that the city administration will support
them. The experiment participants stopped their work
after the State Duma refused on 20 June to recognize the
Nizhnii Novgorod and Perm experiments on alternative
service as valid. The experiment in Nizhnii Novgorod
began on 4 January 2002.
Samara Oblast Legislature Passes Amendment To Enable
Governor Titov To Run For Third Term
The Samara Oblast Duma passed on 26 June amendments to
the oblast charter permitting Governor Konstantin Titov
to run for a third term in office, intertat.ru reported
the same day. Amendments were also passed to prohibit
heads of local self-government bodies to be elected as
Saratov Duma Harmonizes Law On Governor
The Saratov Oblast Duma on 27 June satisfied a protest by
the oblast prosecutors' office against provisions of the
oblast's law on the oblast governor, which contradicted
federal legislation, strana.ru reported the same day. The
Duma harmonized the law by depriving a governor of the
right to create executive bodies. Under the federal law
on general principles of the formation of legislative and
executive bodies in the subjects of the Russian
Federation, only supreme executive bodies of federation
subjects are given such a right.
Seven Residents Die Of Poisoning
Seven residents, two of them children, died as a result
of poisoning with sodium nitrite in Rtishchevo in Saratov
Oblast, Saratovbusinessconsulting reported on 24 June. A
packet containing 300 grams of poisonous powder was eaten
by residents of one local apartment building. The
substance looks like salt and has a similar taste.
Sverdlovsk Oblast Miners' Hunger Strike Finishes
Ten miners of the Vakhrushevugol coal-mining company
ended their hunger strike after the administration fully
satisfied their demands, "Novyi region" reported on 24
June. The strikers began their action on 19 June to
demand repayment of back wages and continued it for three
days. The miners have been paid for 2001 and for April
and May 2002.
EES Board Member Repeats Call For Federal Rule In
Andrei Trapeznikov, a board member of the Russian Unified
Energy Systems (EES), told a press conference on 21 June
in Nizhnii Novgorod that Mezhregionhaz will restrict gas
deliveries to Ulyanovsk Oblast as of 1 July, strana.ru
reported on 21 July. Trapeznikov said Ulyanovskenergo
owes energy suppliers, including Mezhregiongaz, 2 billion
rubles ($63.6 million). Trapeznikov repeated a proposal
he made three days earlier to introduce direct federal
management in the oblast. Ulyanovsk Oblast authorities
called the proposal political blackmail, the agency
Communists Stage Picket In Ulyanovsk
Some 1,000 people took part in a demonstration on 21 June
in Ulyanovsk organized by the local branch of the
Communist Party to mark the 61st anniversary of the
beginning of the World War II in Russia and to protest
the switching off of energy and hot water, high
municipal-service prices, and low wages, "Mozaika"
reported on 24 June.
EBRD Renews Credits To Municipal Bodies In Ural District
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(EBRD) has renewed its practice of providing credit to
municipal authorities in Russia, which was stopped after
Russia's August 1998 default, "Novyi region" reported on
21 June. The first credit will be granted to Surgut to
develop infrastructure, the agency said citing the Ural
Federal District Foreign Investment Council.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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