Sergei Mironov, Chairman of the Federation Council (the Russian parliament's upper chamber), and Murtaza Rakhimov, Bashkiria's president, met in Ufa Saturday. They discussed a wide range of issues concerning present-day life in Bashkiria (a republic in the Volga federal district of the Russian Federation), and the republic's achievements and problems.
When answering journalists' questions after the meeting, Sergei Mironov said that special attention had been given to the judicial reform and demographic problems, as well as interaction between the executive and legislative branches of power.
In addition, Mironov said, they had discussed the development of the oil refining complex. According to the Bashkirian authorities, they have oil refining facilities, but no oil to refine. Sergei Mironov stressed that this was a top-priority issue, since Russia would rather sell petroleum products than crude.
He said that the depth of oil refining at Bashkirian oil refineries is 70 percent, which is a rather high indicator. After his meeting with Rakhimov, Mironov will address deputies of the State Assembly of Bashkiria, and meet with the supreme mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin and the archbishop of Ufa and Samara Nikon.
In the afternoon, Sergei Mironov will take part in a visiting session of the Federation Council's commission on natural monopolies.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969