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Tatar-Bashkir Daily 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 Daily Report

      www.azatliq.org

      RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service

      Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive

      1 July 2002

      DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN

      Supreme Court To Hear Challenge To Tatar Constitution

      The Tatar Supreme Court is to hear before 4 July a
      challenge by Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General Aleksandr
      Zvyagintsev on the illegal repetition in Tatarstan's
      amended constitution of provisions that had previously
      been ruled to contradict federal laws, "Konets nedeli"
      weekly reported on 29 June. It the court rules that the
      challenge is well-founded, then the prosecutor will be
      able to initiate a procedure to dissolve the Tatar
      parliament.

      Zvyagintsev already made a similar protest to the Tatar
      State Council, demanding that during its next
      parliamentary session it abolish or change more than 50
      provisions of the amended constitution. Following that
      process, the State Council immediately decided to break
      for the summer, earlier than planned. The paper commented
      that this is part of the republican authorities' plan to
      delay the judicial process. If the court rules that the
      constitution needs to be amended again and the parliament
      refuses to meet during the summer, then Russian President
      Vladimir Putin will have to issue a warning to the
      parliament in accordance with federal law. Putin has,
      however, already publicly praised Tatar State Council
      deputies for harmonizing their constitution with federal
      legislation, the paper said.

      Tatar Parliamentary Speaker Named To Head Federal
      Power-Sharing Committee

      At a meeting chaired my Federation Council Chairman
      Sergei Mironov in Moscow on 25 June, Tatar State Council
      Chairman Farid Mukhametshin was selected to head a
      committee on power sharing among federal, regional, and
      local authorities of the Russian Council of Legislators,
      Tatar-inform reported on 28 June. In total, seven
      committees were set up at the meeting. Mukhametshin told
      Tatar-inform that his committee will work "in parallel,
      or possibly even together" with the committee on power
      sharing between Moscow and federation subjects headed by
      deputy presidential administration head Dmitrii Kozak.

      Mukhametshin said the joint powers of federal and
      regional bodies is currently one of the most urgent
      issues in Russia. He said that joint powers are regulated
      by about 300 federal laws that, however, are unable to
      provide a clear distinction of the rights and powers of
      the federal and regional governments.

      Annual Meeting Reveals Good News At Tatneft

      Nail Ibragimov, first deputy general director of the
      Tatneft oil company, revealed at the company's annual
      shareholders meeting in Elmet on 28 June that the company
      produced 24.6 million tons of oil in 2001, intertat.ru
      reported the same day. In total, 28.2 million tons of oil
      were extracted in Tatarstan in 2001, an increase of 3.7
      percent from the previous year. Tatneft also paid down
      its foreign debt by $315 million in 2001. At the
      beginning of 2001, that debt totaled $693 million in
      foreign-denominated currencies and another 4 billion
      rubles ($127.2 million). The company had a net profit for
      the year of 21.15 billion rubles ($672.7 million) and it
      made 19 billion rubles ($604.3 million) in capital
      investments, which was an increase of 33 percent over the
      previous year. Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov
      was re-elected chairman of the Tatneft board of
      directors. The board elected a total of 15 members, a
      third of whom are representatives of the state, which
      owns 31.3 percent of Tatneft, while the workforce owns 12
      percent, foreign investors 19 percent, and Russian
      investors 37.7 percent.

      Klebanov Predicts Massive Layoffs At KamAZ

      "Vechernyaya Kazan" daily reported on 29 June that the
      KamAZ automotive concern's debt has reached 32 billion
      rubles ($1 billion). This figure was announced at KamAZ's
      annual shareholders meeting in Chally on 28 June. The
      paper cited general director Sergei Kogogin as saying
      that the main result of the company's activities in 2001
      was increasing the number of workers at the company.
      Meanwhile, Tatar First Deputy Prime Minister Ravil
      Muratov recently said it is inevitable that as many as
      15,000 workers at KamAZ will lose their jobs. The daily
      also cited Russian Industry and Science Minister Ilya
      Klebanov, who is also chairman of KamAZ's board of
      directors, as saying at the meeting that up to 20,000
      workers are to be laid off. Klebanov said, however, that
      this is his private opinion and does not necessarily
      reflect company policy.

      In 2001, the company increased exports of vehicles from
      2,493 to 3,341, Tatar-inform reported on 28 June. The
      shareholders meeting proposed 23 candidacies to the new
      board of directors, 11 of whom had never been members of
      the KamAZ board. The results will be announced in several
      days. Former general director Ivan Kostin, who was
      initially proposed to the board, withdrew his candidacy.

      Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

      DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN

      Constitutional Commission Has Tough Road Ahead

      Bashkir State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev
      chaired a meeting of the heads of the working groups of
      Bashkortostan's Constitutional Commission on 27 June,
      RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 30 June. Tolkachev
      said the commission will have trouble coming up with the
      text of a new constitution. He added that special
      attention should be paid to the controversial issues of
      sovereignty, citizenship, ownership of natural resources,
      and languages. He said the commission's task is to
      develop a legally faultless text of the constitution.

      The first Bashkir Constitution was adopted in 1925 but it
      never came into force as Moscow claimed that it
      contradicted the federal constitution. A second
      constitution was adopted in 1937 but Moscow approved it
      only three years later.

      The constitutional process is being held up by the fact
      that the Russian Constitutional Court still has not
      issued a ruling on whether regional leaders can be
      elected for more than two terms in office. The
      correspondent cited an identified source as saying that
      if the court's answer is "no," then President Murtaza
      Rakhimov will likely be elected head of the Bashkir
      parliament.

      Since the establishment of the Constitutional Commission,
      media outlets in the republic have speculated on
      Bashkortostan's becoming a parliamentary republic, the
      correspondent said.

      11 Bashkir Companies Given B+ Credit Rating

      The Council of Experts for Evaluating the Creditability
      of Bashkortostan's Companies has compiled a list of 11
      firms that have a credit rating of B+, Rosbalt reported
      on 28 June. The list includes Bashneftekhim, UfaVita,
      Bashneft, the Shikhan brewery, Ufimskii
      Neftepererabatyvayushchii Zavod, Bashinformsvyaz,
      Bashkirenergo, Soda, Salavatnefteorgsintez, Ufimskii
      Zavod Elastomernykh Materialov i Konstruktsii, and
      Ufaneftekhim. The companies were evaluated in terms of
      their ability to meet their current financial obligations
      to partners and budgets of all levels, as well as on the
      volume of their assets and liabilities. The council
      includes representatives from regional authorities,
      banks, and financial and auditing companies.

      The ratings agency Standard & Poor's gave Bashkortostan a
      rating of B with a positive outlook on 14 May (see
      "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 16 May 2002). According to
      the agency, the main risks of investing in the republic
      are linked to the dependence of the oil and
      oil-processing sectors on Russia's policy and world oil
      prices, the involvement of local authorities in business,
      and the dependence on subsidies from the federal budget.
      At the same time, the agency's analysts took a positive
      view of the implementation of the republican budget, the
      maintenance of a low state debt, and the extension of the
      agreement with the federal government on financial
      subsidies.

      Archive Administration Discusses Antiterrorism Measures

      The archival administration of the Bashkir Cabinet of
      Ministers recently held a meeting to discuss measures to
      improve the storage of archives in city and district
      courts, as well as means of financing the archive,
      Bashinform reported on 28 June. Special attention was
      also paid to ways of protecting the archives against
      possible terrorist attacks, the agency said.

      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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