RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report -- 21 April 2005
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RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report
21 April 2005
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Opinion Poll: None Of Putin's Colleagues Are Considered Serious Rivals
According to a public opinion poll conducted by the Yurii Levada Center in
March, none of President Vladimir Putin's "closest politicians" are
considered potential candidates for Russian president, Gazeta.ru wrote on
20 April. Twenty percent of respondents said, however, that they were ready
to accept Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov as president and only 2 percent said
they favored Tatar President Mintimer Shamiev or Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard
Rossel for that post.
Regions Fail To Use Federal Transport Compensation
Transport Minister Igor Levitin told a government conference that Russia's
territorial entities have used only 60 percent of federal money intended
for covering the cost of transport vouchers for those people who had the
right to free public transport before the controversial monetization of
those in-kind benefits, rbc.ru reported on 20 April. The bulk of those
unused funds are said to be in Moscow, where some 250.9 million rubles
($8.96 million) worth went unused, in Bashkortostan ($1.74 million),
Tatarstan ($1.60 million), and Perm Oblast ($1.3 million).
Ukratatnafta, Other Companies Ask Moscow To Discuss Gas Price Affair With
Top officials at major Russian oil industries operating in Ukraine,
including TNK-PB, LUKoil, and the joint Tatar-Ukrainian company
Ukrtatnafta, appealed to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to secure
their rights in that country's gas market after the Ukrainian government
set put caps on retail gasoline prices, "Novie Izvestiya" reported on 20
April. TNK -BP and LUKoil had previously declared that the new regulations
prevented them from making a profit and warned that they will halt their
production in order to prevent further losses. The oil companies that have
extensive gas-station networks in Ukraine asked Fradkov to include the
pricing issue on the agenda of his next meeting with Ukrainian Premier
Daily Cites Lack Of Interaction Between Kazan And Republican Administrations
As the celebrations of the Kazan millennium anniversary near, a
misunderstanding between the Kazan city and republican governments appears
to be expanding, "Vechernyaya Kazan" wrote on 20 April. Both the republican
cabinet and the mayor's office are still failing to cooperate, as evidence
by the fact that republican officials don't go to city council meetings
devoted to preparations for the anniversary event.
Given the numerous complaints from locals regarding city government
policies, the millennium anniversary could be the last major event of Mayor
Qamil Iskhaqov's career because on 25 September Kazan will elect a new city
council, which will then appoint a mayor.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Bashkir Parliament Changes Quorum Requirements
The Bashkir State Assembly has reduced its quorum requirements for
parliamentary sessions from two thirds of the total number of deputies to
just over a half. The change was made at the Assembly's 19 April plenary
session, RosBalt and "Rossiiskaya gazeta" reported on 19 and 20 April,
respectively. Currently there are 116 representatives in the 120-seat
legislature. By-elections to fill the empty seats are set for 26 June.
Rakhimov: State To Restore Control Over Petrochemical Companies Within Two
President Murtaza Rakhimov told reporters on 19 April that the return of
Bashkortostan's petrochemical plants to the state will be completed by the
end of June. The president added that key decisions on the issue will be
reached 26 April at a session of the Bashkir Arbitration Court and meetings
of shareholders of Ufa Oil Refinery, Novoil, Ufaneftekhim, Bashneft,
Bashkirenergo, Ufaorgsintez, and Bashkirnefteprodukt.
In March 2004, control over those companies was passed to Bashkirskii
kapital headed by President Rakhimov's son Ural. President Rakhimov
initiated the return of the petrochemical sector companies to state
ownership in the wake of a plot in the Bashkir parliament aimed at
nominating Ural Rakhimov as its speaker (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report,"
25 February 2005).
Bashkortostan Participates In Russian-Canadian Project To Develop Federalism
Bashkortostan has become a pilot region for a Russian-Canadian project to
increase cooperation between Russian federal and regional-level
authorities, RosBalt reported on 20 April.
The project, "Mechanisms for Harmonizing the Interests of Federal and
Regional Governmental Bodies," also seeks new ways to develop Russian
federalism and local self-government.
Representatives of Intergovernmental Affairs and Finance Canada and the
Canada School of Public Service took part in a project conference starting
on 20 April in Ufa.
Speaking at the forum, Bashkir presidential chief of staff Radii Khebirov
said Bashkortostan can be rated first among Russia's entities in terms of
"precise implementation of all requirements of federal legislation." But
Khebirov criticized federal authorities for concentrating some powers in
their own hands while at the same time shifting other responsibilities
requiring large expenditures to the regions.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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)
LCA website: <http://lca.wisc.edu/>lca.wisc.edu