Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report -- 10 October 2003
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Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report
RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service
Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive
10 October 2003
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
TAIF Plans Said To Compromise The Tuben Kama Oil Refinery
The management of the Tatneft oil concern is deeply
unhappy with the plans of the Tatar-American Investments
and Finance (TAIF) group to build a refinery, which will
produce gasoline and other oil products, "Vremya i Dengi"
wrote on 9 October. Tatneft is the major investor in the
Tuben Kama Oil Refinery (NNPZ) project, in which TAIF
also participates. The daily cited an unnamed Tatneft
representative as saying that TAIF's new project
"compromises the construction of NNPZ and makes it
useless." In a recent public statement, Tatneft's press
service confirmed that TAIF's actions were not discussed
with the NNPZ management; TAIF's press release said that
the new refinery "is to meet the demand for high-quality
oil products in Tatarstan, Russia, and abroad." Recently
TAIF obtained an $60 million loan from Russia's Sberbank
for launching the construction of the gasoline factory,
(see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 9 October 2003).
Prosecutor Confirms That Detained Gang Leader Is In Good
Tatar Prosecutor Kafil Amirov told reporters on 9 October
in Chally that rumors about the death of Eduard
Tagiryanov, head of the "Tagiryanovskie gang," are false,
Intertat reported the same day. Members of the gang,
which is suspected of involvement in the kidnappings and
murders of Chally businessmen, were recently detained by
Tatar police (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 9
October 2003). The Prosecutor's Office is also looking
into possible connections between gang members and
high-ranking police officers. The arrested criminals
reportedly had a number of police uniforms in their
Bad Roads A Factor In Many Tatar Traffic Accidents
Tatar Traffic Police Chief Rifget Minnikhanov told a
press conference on 9 October that more than 4,300
traffic accidents have been registered in the republic so
far in 2003, with 606 people dead and more that 5,400
injured, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day.
Minnikhanov said that the bad condition of roads caused
some 17 percent of car accidents.
Saudi Arabia Limits The Number Of Pilgrims From
On returning from Saudi Arabia, Gosman Khezret Iskaqov,
chairman of Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board, told
Intertat on 9 October that 5,500 pilgrims from Russia
will be allowed to visit that country in 2003. Saudi
Arabia has also introduced extra requirements for
pilgrims, including vaccinations and prearranged
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Rakhimov Enters Presidential Race...
President Murtaza Rakhimov announced on 9 October his
intention to run for re-election to a third term in
office, Russian and Bashkir news agencies reported.
Rakhimov was speaking at a meeting devoted to the 13th
anniversary of the Bashkir "Declaration on State
Sovereignty." Rakhimov said he has concerns about the
interest in Bashkortostan expressed by "some financial
circles" and their intention to destabilize the situation
in the republic. He further said that the "responsibility
for the republic's fate is very great." "I have thought
the situation over and have come to the firm conclusion
that it is thus far too soon to divest myself of that
greatest responsibility." But the final decision will be
made exclusively by Bashkortostan's people, he added.
Long before the campaign officially started, those
financial circles "brought down an avalanche of deceitful
information on the republic," Rakhimov claimed. He quoted
President Vladimir Putin as saying: "There is a category
of people who have become billionaires in no time. Those
so-called oligarchs...have perfectly understood how they
can manipulate public opinion. The same way they dealt
with natural resources, they began dealing with mass
media and nationwide television channels and overriding
nationwide interests with their group interests."
Rakhimov added that if he left politics under these
conditions, it would nullify what has been achieved and
betray the people's trust and hopes.
..Receives Backing From Famous Bashkir Writer...
Speaking at the same gathering, Bashkir poet Mostai Kerim
backed Rakhimov's decision to run for a third term,
Bashinform reported. Kerim said some mass media are
attacking Bashkortostan, but "the people know that the
course is true and the man at the wheel is wise." He
added: "The republic needs you. I am in full confidence
that Bashkortostan will reach new heights in its
development in the near future."
..And Russian Industrialists Union Leader
Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Union President
Arkadii Volskii on 9 October awarded Rakhimov the Peter
the Great Order "for services before the Fatherland that
promote the flourishing, greatness, and glory of Russia,"
Bashinform reported the same day. The ceremony took place
at the same meeting where Rakhimov announced his
re-election bid. Volskii praised Rakhimov's decision to
run, saying he came to Bashkortostan to "persuade"
Rakhimov to run, "but the president beat me to it." He
expressed his confidence that the Bashkir public will
help Rakhimov to be re-elected to another term and said
Rakhimov should "run to the election commission to
present his appeal."
The Peter the Great Order has previously been awarded to
Noble Prize winner Zhores Alferov, UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
Polief Signs 9 Million-Euro Contract With U.S. Company
The American UOP Sinco company has signed a contract with
Bashkortostan's Polief polyethylene facility on delivery
of 9 million euros ($10.6 million) in equipment,
Bashinform and RosBalt reported on 9 October. The
contract is to be fulfilled within a year. The Bashkir
government has so far invested 4 billion rubles ($134
million) in the facility, under construction since 2001.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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