07MOSCOW3354, RUSSIA: TATARS CALL NEW FEDERAL TREATY “SYMBOLIC”

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3354 2007-07-09 14:25 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6992
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3354 1901425
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091425Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1929
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003354 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA:  TATARS CALL NEW FEDERAL TREATY "SYMBOLIC" 
 
Classified By: PolMinCouns Alice G. Wells.  Reason:  1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C) Tatarstani officials and academics alike told us July 
6-7 that the federal treaty between Tatarstan and Russia, now 
before the Federation Council, is only "symbolic."  The 
issues of practical substance -- primarily division of state 
property -- were settled in the original 1994 treaty, 
according to President Shaymiyev's senior political advisor 
Rafael Khakimov, political scientist Nail Mukharryamov and 
the head of Tatarstan's external relations department, Eduard 
Khabibullin.  The new treaty symbolizes the nation's 
commitment to federalism despite the rhetoric of the 
"vertical of power," they said. 
 
2. (C) All believed the Federation Council's rejection of a 
previous draft of the new treaty was pure politics -- Sergei 
Mironov's need to stake out political turf as leader of a 
political party in opposition to the ruling United Russia. 
Khakimov spun Tatarstan's concessions in the new draft as 
minimal:  a recognition that Russia's laws, not only its 
constitution and that of Tatarstan, would be supreme in the 
republic; and a dilution of the official language clause to 
require only that the President and senior officials be 
bilingual in Tatar and Russian. 
 
3. (C) Comment:  The fact that Tatarstan is interested in the 
Treaty despite its purely "symbolic" value shows concern that 
the new rulers in Moscow after 2008 might seek to reduce 
Tatar autonomy.  Given the highly personal nature of all such 
deals, the Tatars want the treaty to lock in the gains they 
have made so far.  In contrast, Chechnya's rough-hewn 
president Ramzan Kadyrov has made it clear that he needs no 
stinkin' piece of paper to guarantee his freedom of movement 
-- and that a formal treaty might only constrain him when he 
presses Putin's successor for even more concessions. 
BURNS

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