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Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Report -- 1 July 2002

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  • Uli Schamiloglu
    This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org and has been sent to you by Uli Schamiloglu.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2002
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      This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/
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      to you by Uli Schamiloglu.

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      Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Report

      www.azatliq.org

      RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service

      Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive

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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,
      Bashkortostan

      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
      in income.

      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
      profitability."

      ..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
      ($3,200).

      Parliament Officials Discuss Future Agenda Before Going
      On Leave...

      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
      union.

      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
      increased.

      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
      Treaty

      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
      Afghanistan

      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
      Moscow.

      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
      Oblast

      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
      Mayoral Elections

      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
      percent.

      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
      candidates.

      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
      parliament deputies.

      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
      Successfully

      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
      Ulyanovsk Oblast

      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
      said.

      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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      Uli Schamiloglu
      Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
      Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
      1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
      Madison, WI  53706 USA
      tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
      Email: uschamil@...
      LCA website:  lca.wisc.edu
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