Staunton, February 11 – A group that has often advanced pro-Kremlin positions has published on its website what it says is the response of the procuracy of Tatarstan to a query about the status of “president” in the republic, a status, the prosecutors say, is only one of the ways the republic’s constitution is at odds with the Russian Federation one and must be changed.
Although journalists have been unable to confirm the genuineness of this specific document (idelreal.org/a/31095994.html), it appears to be in line with an official declaration that the procuracy issued on January 15 (idelreal.org/a/31052291.html). And its appearance on a pro-Moscow site suggests the center has decided to step up the pressure on Kazan to make a change.
The procuracy also declared that the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, the highest legislative body there, has formed a working group to consider changes in the republic’s constitution. It specifies that in the work of that body, prosecutors who are often more subordinate to Moscow than Kazan, plan to take an active part.
Liliya Galimova, the spokesperson for the Tatarstan president, told Kazan’s Realnoye vremya station that she couldn’t comment on all of this and was not even prepared to declare that the document put out by the pro-Moscow group was genuine (realnoevremya.ru/news/200549-galimova-rasskazala-o-akte-prokuratury-po-dolzhnosti-prezidenta-tatarstana).
She did say that the issue is not a new one but argued that any change in the title of the president of the republic was “exclusively the prerogative of the legislative powers” in Tatarstan, an indication that the government is not about to back down on this issue without putting up a fight.
At the end of December, Farid Mukhametshin, the speaker of the Tatarstan State Council, was even clearer that Kazan isn’t about to bow to Moscow on this. He said that the republic may amend its constitution at its discretion but that the position of “president” is going to remain (azatliq.org/a/31020296.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/12/tatarstan-digs-in-to-keep-position-of.html).
For background on this longstanding fight and the importance to Tatars of maintaining the title of president, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/06/tatarstans-special-status-in-russian.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/06/in-september-flouting-moscow-tatars.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/03/saving-office-of-republic-president.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/01/whatever-moscow-does-with-its-basic-law.html.