The issue of the place and role of the Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian federal system is extremely complex and multidimensional; its consideration requires an integrated approach. In addition to the federal aspect in case of Tatarstan, there is a number of other contexts, without full understanding of which it would be impossible to tackle with the problem. Since the Republic of Tatarstan is a national republic of the Russian Federation, it is important to take into account the historical and political circumstances, national and ethnic aspects. It is equally important to consider the civilizational and religious aspects, not only in the regional dimension, but also in view of contradictory processes of globalization. Tatarstan holds a special position in the Russian federal system and is the only entity which retains in its Constitution reference to sovereignty and statehood, institutes of citizenship and presidency of the Republic.
The ethnic problem in Tatarstan is not relatively acute, while inter-confession relationships can cause serious disturbances in the federal system of coordinates. Thus the existing balance between the federal centre and the Republic of Tatarstan is unstable and is determined not by achieving mutual understanding and agreement between the two entities, but by the balance of forces. Thus, under certain circumstances Tatarstan may become in the future a serious source of tension for the entire Russian Federation.
Tatarstan in the Russian Federation: general information.¹
The Republic of Tatarstan is situated in the centre of Russia, at the confluence of two major European rivers – the Volga and the Kama. The total area of the republic is 67 836 thousand sq. km (0,4% of the total area of Russia). The capital of Tatarstan -Kazan is located 797 kilometers to the east of Moscow.
According to the All-Russian population census of 2010, 3786, 4 thousand people live in Tatarstan. Tatarstan ranks the eighth, as for the population, after Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar Territory, the Republic of Bashkortostan, Moscow, Sverdlovsk and Rostov provinces. In 2010, the number of Tatars in Tatarstan amounted to 2,012,571 persons (53.2%), Russians - 1,575,361 persons (39.7%). And the total number of Tatars in Russia according to the census of 2010 amounted to 5310.6 thousand. Tatars are the second largest nation in Russia after the Russians. Among the important features of demographic development of the population of Tatarstan the convergence of behaviour of different nationalities, especially Tatars and Russians should be distinguished.
High birth rate of Tatars for almost the entire twentieth century deteriorated at the end of the century - beginning of the 21st century, mainly due to assimilation processes. As a result, total birth rate for Tatars and Russians leveled.²
Under Article 8 of the Constitution of Tatarstan, the official languages of the Republic are "equal Tatar and Russian." Traditional religions for the republic are Islam and Orthodoxy. Tatars and Bashkirs mostly practice Islam, while Russians, Mari, Udmurts, Mordvins are Orthodox Christians.
Declaration of State Sovereignty, Constitution and the Treaty on the Delimitation of Jurisdictions and Powers between the Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of Tatarstan make up the basis of the legal framework of the republic. The head of state and the highest official is the President of the Republic, who heads the system of executive bodies of state power in the republic and directs the work of the Cabinet of Ministers - executive and administrative body of state power. The candidature of the Prime Minister of Tatarstan is submitted by the President and approved by the parliament. The supreme representative and legislative body of state power of the Republic is a unicameral State Council (parliament).
Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed regions of Russia. The main mineral wealth is oil. A part of the Volga-Ural oil and gas field is on the territory of Tatarstan. The reserves are estimated at 800 mln. tons of extracting oil, explored reserves are 900 mln. tons and total oil resources - 4 billion tons. About 32 mln. tons of oil are produced in Tatarstan each year. Tatarstan ranks the eighth among the subjects of the Russian Federation in terms of Gross Regional Product. The republic uses 2.2% of agricultural lands and produces about 5% of agricultural production. Tatarstan consistently ranks the fifth among the subjects of the Russian Federation in volumes of foreign trade. Industrial profile of the Republic is determined by petrochemical complex (oil production, production of synthetic rubber, tires, polyethylene), powerful engineering enterprises etc. Approximately 94% of the total sales of oil and gas complex are provided by four companies: "Tatnenft" "Nizhnekamskneftechim" "Nizhnekamskshina", "Kazanorgsintez". Kama Automobile Plant (KAMAZ) ranks 11th among the world leading manufacturers of heavy vehicles and 8th in terms of diesel engines output. Despite low world prices for oil and oil products in 2016, the economy of Tatarstan demonstrated stable positive dynamics, exceeding the Russian average.³
Tatarstan has a long history, a combination of at least three types of cultural mutual influences (Turkic, Slavic-Russian and Finno-Ugric) and two religions (Islam and Christianity) defines the uniqueness of the region. However, the researchers point out: "Ethnic core of Tatars was formed at the era of the Golden Horde. Despite the importance of general Turkic and Bulgar periods the Golden Horde remains crucial. It was at that point that the Eurasian thinking of Tatars was formed. It was at the Golden Horde that the Eurasian form of empire was fixed, which became the main idea for the next century. Not only the Golden Horde, but also the Russian Empire had Eurasian characteristic features that distinguished them from the Roman and Byzantine path".⁴
Another important feature of Tatarstan is that it is the centre of attraction for Tatars living outside the republic, as well as other Turkic peoples of Russia. Tatarstan is a powerful religious centre for millions of Muslims of Russia. Tatars established a network of national and cultural autonomies in Russia. 182 Tatar public organizations have been officially registered in the Russian regions.⁵ Besides, we should not underestimate the fact that many famous and influential Russian figures have Tatar descent due to a long coexistence in one state and the current processes of assimilation.⁶
Moreover, Tatars officially implement practices that they themselves call The Greater Tatarstan. Article 14 of the Constitution of Tatarstan reads that "the Republic of Tatarstan is assisting Tatars living outside the Republic of Tatarstan in the development of their national culture, language, identity preservation ". Under this practice, Tatar public organizations have been founded in the former Soviet republics and other countries of Europe and Asia. Their partial list provides insight into an extraordinary role of the Tatar factor in Eurasia.⁷
Brief chronology of the history of relations between Tatarstan and the federal centre of Russia.
The first state in the region was Volga Bulgaria established at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries A.D. Islam became the state religion in 922 A.D. Volga Bulgaria joined the empire of Genghis Khan in 1236 and later became part of the Golden Horde. After the collapse of the Golden Horde, a new state was founded - the Kazan Khanate (1438), which in 1552 was conquered by Muscovy. The Kazan сzardom had formally existed since the capture of Kazan till 1708, when it was transformed into Kazan province under the reform of Peter I. In 1920 the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the RSFSR was proclaimed.
The Supreme Council of Tatarstan adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty on 30 August, 1990,⁸ and a Resolution of the Supreme Council of Tatarstan "On the Act of National Independence of the Republic of Tatarstan" was adopted on 24 October, 1991.⁹
In March, 1992 Tatarstan refused to sign the Federal Agreement (as well as Chechnya). On 21March, 1992 a referendum was held on the state status of Tatarstan. The question: "Do you agree that the Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign state, a subject of international law, which builds its relations with Russia and the other republics and states on the basis of equitable treaties?" a positive answer was given by 61.4% of the inhabitants of the republic.
The Constitution of Tatarstan was approved in November, 1992 proclaiming Tatarstan a sovereign state.¹⁰ In June, 1993 Tatarstan boycotted the Constitutional meeting in Moscow. In December, 1993 the Republic boycotted the Federal referendum on the draft new Constitution of the Russian Federation (part of the population, mainly ethnic Russians, who made up almost half of the inhabitants of the Republic and lived mainly in urban areas, nevertheless voted); overall vote on the draft Constitution was recognized null and void, because it was attended by less than 15% of voters.¹¹
Insisting that Tatars refuse to separate completely from Russia, Moscow intimidated Kazan with war, isolation, split in the republic itself, exerted personal pressure on the leaders of the republic. For instance, the speaker of the Russian parliament R. Khasbulatov scared Tatarstan with retaking Kazan and threatened to bring Tatar leader M.Shaymiyev to Moscow in an iron cage as Russian czars did with the rebels before executing them.¹² At the same time the Kremlin was sending signals that in case of maintaining the union with Russia, Moscow will agree that Tatarstan would be completely controlled by the clan of M.Shaymiyev and promised him serious economic preferences. As a result, Tatarstan decided not to follow the path of Chechnya and preferred an agreement with Moscow, though entirely unique for Russia, because of special benefits for the republic.
15 February, 1994 "the Treaty on the Delimitation of Jurisdictions and Powers between the Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of Tatarstan"¹³ was signed, which stated that "the Republic of Tatarstan as state unites with the Russian Federation." Tatarstan de jure obtained specific confederal status within the Russian Federation. Special relationship was fixed in additional 12 secret agreements as for military and security areas, taxation of oil revenues and preferential spirits excise taxes, privatization, land tenure, land ownership, etc. The Treaty has become the legal basis for the formation of the Russia-Tatarstan model of relations between the federal centre and the subject of the Federation together with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The treaty gave impetus to the process of signing similar agreements on the division of competence between the authorities of Russia and subjects of the Russian Federation. By the end of 1990s 42 agreements had covered 46 regions. The last treaty was signed on 16 June, 1998 with Moscow not without a certain symbolism. The main theoretician, promoter of contractual regulation and practical manager of treaties was S.Shakhray, who headed the respective Commission under the President of the Russian Federation.
The war in Chechnya began late in 1994, thus among other things the Kremlin demonstrated to all minorities what would happen in case of disobedience to Moscow and signaled Tatarstan and other national republics that there would be no more concessions from the federal centre. However, the leadership of Tatarstan for quite a long time had a special position in the Chechen issue. In particular, there were no obstacles for providing "humanitarian aid" to the Chechen people, local national organizations continued to maintain contacts with Dudayev, Basayev, Maskhadov and other leaders of the Chechen separatists, official representation of Chechnya-Ichkeria operated in Tatarstan. It was only after the second Chechen war started in 1999 and when V.Putin came to power, the office was closed, and the visible contacts with Chechnya were suspended.
Tatar leader M.Shaymiyev was considered one of the leading Russian politicians at the federal level in 1994-2002 and was active in the political life of Russia, showing extraordinary political flexibility. For instance, at the presidential election in Russia in 2000 block All Russia, whose informal leader was M.Shaymiyev, first supported the group of Luzhkov-Primakov-Titov (NGO "Otechestvo"), but at the decisive moment supported V.Putin, who opposed that group. The tenure of M.Shaymiyev as the President of Tatarstan was repeatedly prolonged by the Kremlin in non-constitutional way up to 2010.
Beginning of 2000s was often characterized by experts as a new stage of development of federal relations, which touched treaties on the division of jurisdictions between the federal centre and federal subjects. President V.Putin launched the redistribution of political and legal space of Russia in favour of the federation, a kind of "federal Reconquista". Complex, multidimensional, and contradictory processes occur simultaneously in the legal dimension, the political dimension and practical opposition of the federal centre and the regions.¹⁴
The second war in Chechnya ended in 2000 in victory of Moscow and the establishment of pro-Moscow regime in the republic. After a certain stabilization of the situation in Chechnya, the Kremlin strongly demanded Tatarstan to bring relations with the federal centre in line with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. In the spring of 2002, as a result of severe pressure from the Kremlin and V.Putin's personal intrusion, a new version of the Constitution of Tatarstan was approved, in which sovereignty of the republic was severely restricted and status of the republic was fixed as a subject of the Russian Federation.
As a result of challenging struggle, validity of a number of agreements signed for 5 years ended, and heads of federal subjects one by one "voluntarily" abandoned their extension, having respectively adjusted local laws. Thus almost all treaties on the division of powers between the federal centre and the regions ceased to exist in early 2000s. The exception was only Tatarstan, who managed to defend a specific path of development.
However, Kazan could not avoid significant restrictions of sovereignty as well. Tatarstan made a number of amendments to its Constitution in 2000 - 2002, according to which it became "an equitable subject of the Russian Federation."¹⁵ Two versions of the key provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan of 1992 and 2002 are compared in Table 1. Researchers have found a number of legal conflicts and inconsistencies between the new version of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Constitution of the Russian Federation. These inconsistencies mainly concern three key elements - "sovereignty", "citizenship", and "president". Tatarstan has become the only subject of the Russian Federation, which retained in its Constitution reference to sovereignty, statehood, institute of citizenship (Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan) and institute of the Presidency of the Republic.¹⁶
A new treaty on the delimitation of powers between Tatarstan and Russia came into force in June, 2007, which eliminated a number of inconsistencies between federal and Tatarstan legislation.¹⁷ The treaty was concluded for 10 years. Under the new Treaty, Tatarstan is named "the state", but the real powers have been significantly narrowed in comparison with the previous agreement, opportunities for Tatarstan institute of citizenship have been limited, etc. Two versions of the key provisions of the Treaty are compared in Table 2.
Cancellation of the Treaty was followed by cancellation of a number of special privileges and preferences set for Tatarstan in 1994. However, the republic managed to prepare for such a step in advance. For instance, a special economic zone of industrial type "Alabuga" was established late in 2005 in Tatarstan, which included a number of tax benefits. Moreover, Tatarstan is one of the largest debtors to the federal budget, second only to the Krasnodar Territory, Moscow and Moscow province. Total debt of Tatarstan at the beginning of this year amounted to 91,3 bln. roubles.¹⁸
M.Shaymiyev resigned in March, 2010 selecting R.Minnikhanov as a successor; however, M.Shaymiyev’s family still controls 70% of the economic potential of Tatarstan and plays an important, though hidden role in the Russian federal politics.
Tatarstan withinin the federal system of the Russian Federation.
Actually relations between Moscow and Kazan, on the one hand, are partially reflecting the general Russian trends, on the other hand, they are unique.
During all 1990s Moscow was in a state of permanent political perturbations (National Emergency Committee, collapse of the USSR, and attempted coup in 1993), the administrative chaos, growing problems in relations with regions, especially Chechnya, and in economic straits. Therefore it was unwilling to have a new conflict emerged and was ready for major concessions to Tatarstan, excluding its real separation. According to experts, at that time, "democratic institutions served a facade for a real political process associated with redistribution of state property. The main structural characteristics of this period were the prevalence of informal institutions; ruling coalition was formed by two categories of actors - the major economic actors (oligarchs) and part of the heads of regions ... "¹⁹ Meanwhile, national movements played an important role in the national republics. This period is characterized by most experts as the time of active decentralization or even fragmentation of Russia.
The chaotic decentralization was initiated by the famous words of B.Yeltsin pronounced during his speech in Kazan, on 6 August, 1990: "Take as much sovereignty as you can swallow." The transition from such populist model to the new format of relations between the centre and regions is usually characterized as increased centralization, strengthening the vertical of power and the return of unitary governance principles.
However, it was revealed over time that unitarization and strengthening the vertical of power in Russia increasingly took a special form. Its essence was that the exercise of power was not carried out within the legal space, but in the form of installation /recovery of imperial or quasi-imperial order. As Russian analysts emphasized "the empire tried to achieve the interest of regional elite in stability of the centre by eliminating political competition and "appointing" the elite on the basis of personal loyalty. However, not having sufficient resources for total control over the region, the empire reluctantly admits elements of non-centralization (not to confuse with decentralization) – i.e. indifference and tolerance for actions of regional authorities beyond the agreements."²⁰
In this context, the general scheme of establishing relations with the federal centre after the declaration of independence of Tatarstan is quite clear. The local elite used nationalist and religious feelings of local people to raise rates in political competition with Moscow. Instead, Moscow inclined the ruling clan of M.Shaymiyev to a deal, by means of threats and bribery, allowing them to take political and economic control over practically the whole republic. The clan received privileges and preferences from Moscow according to the treaty on the delimitation of powers coupled with a package of secret agreements. Having proclaimed formal independence, Tatarstan kept de jure unity with Russia. Federal centre left the oil and petrochemical industry at the disposal of the local elite, but did not allow to privatize the largest engineering plant - KAMAZ, leaving it in the federal ownership.
Compromise was reached for during the confrontation neither side had a decisive tactical advantage, and the price of power confrontation was too high for both parties and therefore unacceptable.
On the other hand, Russians comprised almost half the population of Tatarstan, having majority in some cities and developed areas. In case of tough confrontation with Moscow Tatarstan would face the threat of civil war on the ethnic ground and inevitable defeat of Kazan with heavy losses. Tatarstan is an internal Russian enclave, which in case of confrontation with Moscow would find itself in isolation. Long cohabitation with Russians in one state and significant level of assimilation of Tatars partially removed the sharpness of confrontation on the ethnic ground and acted as a sort of a safety fuse for escalating the conflict into a coercive phase. Understanding all this limited separatist ambitions of M.Shaymiyev. There was a series of fundamental differences between Tatarstan and Chechnya, which joined the Russian Empire only in 1859 after 50 years of colonial war.
The Kremlin gradually succeeded in securing legal status of Tatarstan as a federal subject and gradually took away much of the local special powers and privileges, when V.Putin came to power and V.Shaymiyev grew older and weakened his influence at the federal level. However, the Tatar legislation retains formal mentioning of statehood and sovereignty. Given the gradual increase in the proportion of the Tatar population in the republic, strengthening of Islam and national traditions, self-identification of Tatars other than Russians, etc., we can predict new aggravation in relations between Moscow and Kazan in the future, especially in the case of overall weakening of Russia, i.e. this model is not historically stable, but rather a temporary palliative solution situationally appropriate for Russian and Tatar ruling elites.
Theorists of the Russian federalism both from Moscow and Kazan, often analyze the formation and development of federal relations in terms of the balance of the federal "power vertical" and the local authorities of the subject of the Federation, including quasi-legal elite arrangements to ensure stability and specific distribution of local revenues. However, they are not original in that. "Unitarianism and Federalism are two powerful forces acting within the union state and determining its shape depending on the dominance of one of them. However, none of these forces completely loses its influence. When the unitary principle disappears, the state is exposed to the danger of disintegration; if federalism turns unviable, the Federal state turns into an absolute integral entity."²¹ The expert community discusses the concept of cooperative and parallel federalism,²² there are ongoing discussions, whether the Russian Federation is a contractual or constitutional federation, etc.
Although in terms of real practical politics, it should be noted that theoretical developments in the field of federalism have really not been the basis for the establishment of relations between Moscow and Kazan, but they have been rather secondary servility considerations for political scientists to justify already taken political decisions.
Moreover, many researchers are skeptical as for the idea of the functioning of Russian federalism at all. In particular, special attention should be paid to the following argument: "Legally, the Russian Federation continues to remain a federation, but real political relations between the centre and the regions are governed by institutes of sharing political loyalty and maintaining order and stability from the part of the regions for concessions and transfers from the federal centre. These relationships fit into the framework of the well-known model of "principal-agent", in fact, they contribute to the conservation of centre-peripheral nature of the relationship between the centre and the regions, which originally was characteristic of Russia as an empire."²³ According to even more radical wording of A.Zakharov, a well-known Russian researcher of federal relations, Russia is a "federation without federalism", in his view, the institute of federalism in Russia is "sleeping".²⁴
The phenomenon of separatism in modern history and contemporary Tatarstan.
It is difficult for observers to realistically assess the phenomenon of separatism in modern history and contemporary Tatarstan due to the absence of reliable public sources of information, censorship in the Russian media, and deliberate falsifications and provocations on these issues as those that are particularly sensitive to the political process in Tatarstan and in Russia as a whole.
However, certain conclusions can be considered reasonably justified. Since the end of 1980s in Tatarstan, as in many other regions of the former Soviet Union, social movements and parties, mainly of the national political, cultural and religious orientation started to form. The most popular national movement in Tatarstan became Tatar Social Centre (Татарский общественный центр - TOC). It should be pointed out that one of the initiators of its establishment and permmanent head until 1993 was M.Mulyukov, lecturer of the history of the Communist Party, and the main ideologue of the TOC and author of fundamental documents of the centre was R.Khakimov, Deputy Director, Ideological Department of the local provincial Party Committee, who later, in 2001, became political adviser to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. Moreover, according to a number of reputable researchers, funding of opposition movements and parties was carried out by local businesses in accordance with secret "recommendations" of the leadership of the republic. In other words, there are reasons to believe that national movements and the struggle for sovereignty of the Republic were largely carried out with the participation and under the leadership of the local party and economic establishment. However, almost all researchers have observed a wide range of opinions among the national-democratic organizations, which over time led to the differentiation and growth of independence of some of them. In any case, a number of national organizations ("Azatlyk", "Altyn urda", "Vatan" VTOC et al.) have been always operating in Tatarstan at various times, which gives grounds to assert the existence of a certain social base. There happen acute recurrent discussions on the state languages - Tatar and Russian, interpretation of history, commemoration of significant dates, etc. However, most experts say that current national NGOs of Tatarstan are relatively weak and are not able to mobilize great masses of the population without the support of the authorities.
Close ties of the ruling elite of Tatarstan with national NGOs explain the facts of ousting Russians from state authorities of the republic. For instance, on 22 April, 2014, MP R.Nurutdinov issued a statement at the meeting of the Parliament of the Republic of Tatarstan, which shocked the Russian public. In particular, he said that at a time when according to census Tatars constitute 53% of the republic's population, and Russians - 40%, 23 top officials of the Cabinet of Ministers of Tatarstan out of 28 are ethnic Tatars, the remaining five "have Russian first names and names."²⁵
Whereas the ethnic problem in Tatarstan is not relatively acute, the interconfessional relations, according to many commentators and researchers, can cause serious disturbances.²⁶
Adherents of Islam in Tatarstan have become more active since 1990s. Ecclesiastical Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan (DUM RT) was established in 1998. There had been 1,087 Muslim organizations in the republic by the end of 2009, a large number of educational establishments, graduates of some of them receiving governmental diplomas.²⁷ As of October 2016, DUM RT includes 1430 mosques, employing 1373 imams, 33 media are operating under the auspices of DUM RT.²⁸ It should be stressed that with about equal number of Muslims and Orthodox Christians, the number of Orthodox parishes in Tatarstan Metropolitanate is 340.²⁹ There is a similar trend at the all-Russian scale. There were about 870 mosques in 1991 in Russia, while in 2015 there were about 8,000 of them.³⁰
Of particular concern for Moscow are the facts of penetration of Islamist radical and fundamentalist elements and organizations into the Muslim community, providing financial resources for their development, broadening the social base.
There is an increase in criminal cases against extremism and terrorism over the last 5 years in Tatarstan. In particular, there was 5 times increase in the number of cases on charges for extremism in the Republic of Tatarstan from 2011 to 2015, 93% of them ended with a guilty verdict. In particular, over the past 5 years, 26 persons were found guilty of organization of extremist communities. 32 relevant criminal cases were received by the courts of the republic during 2015. In 2014, the courts received criminal cases on charges of committing terrorist acts, all of them related to the case of "Chistopol Jamaat."³¹
Among the factors that affect the situation in the Republic of Tatarstan and its relations with the federal centre one should also mention the social and political doctrine of Panturkism, thus pointing out activeness of Turkey.³² It is also important to emphasize that the activities of national, political, religious and other organizations of Tatarstan take place in difficult conditions of the existing political regime, which are often characterized by the persecution, repression and discreditation of individual personalities of these movements as well as certain organizations.
1. The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the most developed regions of Russia and plays a vital role in its state system. Russia de facto is not a typical federal state and not a typical unitary state. Its political system contains elements of federalism, unitary and imperial system based on a specific "principal-agent"relationship.
2. Despite the turbulence of 1990s, Tatarstan did not become a critical destabilizing factor for the Russian Federation. The relationship between the federal centre and Tatarstan were used by Moscow as demonstration of attractive model of division of powers between the centre and periphery. The local elite has used national protest potential for their own consolidation and redistribution of property and power with the federal centre in their favour.
3. Since 2000s the constitutional, legal and real powers of Tatarstan gradually decreased, as one can see in the new version of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and the new treaty on the delimitation of jurisdiction and powers between the authorities of the Russian Federation and authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan. However, these documents still contain a number of contradictions with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and formal reference to sovereignty/statehood of Tatarstan that lays down some prospective legal "mines".
4. National political organizations in the Republic of Tatarstan have no significant influence and are largely in sync with the authorities or controlled by them. Instead, interconfession relations are defined by strengthening Islam and the increasing influence of Islamist and fundamentalist organizations, which may become a destabilizing factor in the republic and the region in the future.
5. Now there is a certain balance in relations between the federal centre and Tatarstan. However, centrifugal and centripetal factors continue to operate and their balance will determine the future prospects of the republic. One of the federal policy vectors will be likely aimed at strengthening economic levers of control over the republic. Thus, since the second half of 2017 an attempt by Moscow to take control of the most powerful oil company in Tatarstan - "Tatneft" is not excluded, as it was done by "Rossneft" with Bashkir oil company "Bashneft" in October, 2016.
6. The current balance between the federal centre and the Republic of Tatarstan is dynamic and volatile. It is determined not by achieving mutual understanding and agreement between the two entities, but by the balance of forces. In case of weakening the federal centre, one can expect aggravation of the situation in the Republic of Tatarstan and renovation of struggle for empowerment and gaining real sovereignty.
Table 1. Comparison of key provisions of two versions of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan - 1992 and 2002
Constitution amended in 1992³³
Constitution amended in 2012³⁴ ³⁵
Article 1. The Republic of Tatarstan is a sovreign democratic state, expressing the will and interests of all multiethnic people of the republic.
Sovereignty and jurisdiction of the state proceed from the people.
State sovereignty is an irrevocable qualitative status of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Article 1. The Republic of Tatarstan is a democratic rule-of-law state, united with the Russian Federation by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Treaty of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan "On the Delimitation of Jurisdictions and Powers between the Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan" being a subject of the Russian Federation. Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan is manifested in obtaining the plenitude of the state power (legislative, executive, and judicial) out of bounds of responsibilities of the Russian Federation and jurisdiction of the Russian Federation on the subjects of joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan and is an irrevocable qualitative status of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Article 21. The Republic of Tatarstan has its own citizenship. Grounds, procedure of acquisition and abandonment of citizenship of the Republic of Tatarstan is defined by Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Citizens of the Republic of Tatarstan possess citizenship of the Russian Federation - Russia.
Citizens of the Republic of Tatarstan may have citizenship of other states, terms of implementation of which is defined by agreements and treaties between the Republic of Tatarstan and other states. Citizens of the Republic of Tatarstan may keep double citizenship or abandon it.
Every person is entitled to select citizenship and to change it. Depriving of citizenship or the right to change the citizenship is prohibited.
Article 21. The Republic of Tatarstan has its own citizenship.
Citizen of the Russian Federation, constantly living on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, is the citizen of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Citizen of the Republic of Tatarstan is simultaneously the citizen of the Russian Federation.
III. State System of the Republic of Tatarstan
Chapter 5. The Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign state.
Article 59. The Republic of Tatarstan determines independently its own state legal status, settles the issues of political, economic, social, and cultural construction. Laws of the Republic of Tatarstan enjoy supremacy over all its territory, provided they do not contradict international commitments of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Statya 60. The territory of the Republic of Tatarstan is inviolable. Boundaries between the Republic of Tatarstan and another state are defined and changed following an agreement of the parties.
Statya 61. The Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign state, subject of international law, associated with the Russian Federation - Russia on the base of the treaty on the mutual delegating of powers and subjects of jurisdiction.
Statya 62. The Republic of Tatarstan enters relations with other states, enters into international agreements, exchanges diplomatic, consular, trade and other missions, participates in activities of international organizations according to principles of international law.
Generally recognized principles and norms of international law have priority over the laws of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Table 2. Comparison of key provisions of the two versions of the Treaty on the Delimitation of Powers between Tatarstan and the Russian Federation.
Treaty on Delimitation of Subjects of Jurisdiction and Mutual Delegating Powers Between Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan (Moscow, 15 February, 1994)³⁶
Treaty on Delimitation of Subjects of Jurisdiction and Powers Between Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan (Moscow, 26 June, 2007)³⁷
Representatives plenipotentiary of the governmental authorities of the Russian Federation and the governmental authorities of the Republic of Tatarsan:
guided by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan; proceeding from the generally recognized right of peoples for self-determination, principles of equality, voluntariness, dobrovolnosty and freedom of declaration of intentions; ... taking into consideration that the Republic of Tatarstan, is united with the Russian Federation as a state by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Treaty on Delimitation of Subjects of Jurisdiction and Mutual Delegating Powers Between Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan, participates in international and foreign economic relations, have agreed on the following:
Governmental authorities of the Russian Federation and governmental authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan acting in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan, federal laws and laws of the Republic of Tatarstan ; taking into account the experience of applying the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan "On Delimitation of Subjects of Jurisdiction and Mutual Delegating Powers Between Authorities of the Russian Federation and Authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan" of 15 February, 1994, concluded on the base of referendum in the Republic of Tatarstan, held on 21 March, 1992, and in accordance with Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan; proceeding from historical, cultural, economic, ecological and other specific features of the Republic of Tatarstan have agreed on the following:
Republic of Tatarstan has its constitution and legislation. Governmental authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan exercise the powers of governmental authorities including:
1) assure protection of rights and freedoms of a person and citizen;
2) form Republican budget, fix and raise taxes;
3) settle the issues of legal practice and notarial system;
4) provide legal regulation of administrative, family, housing relations in the sphere of environmental protection
and nature management;
5) pardon persons, sentenced by courts of the Republic of Tatarstan;
6) settle the issues of ownership, usage, and disposal of land, mineral resources, water, forests and other natural resources, as well as governmental enterprises, organizations, other governmental movable property and real estates on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, being exceptional heritage and property of the people of Tatarstan, except objects of the federal property. Division of governmental property is regulated by a specific agreement;
7) establish the system of governmental bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan, the order of their organization and activities;
8) settle the issues of the republican citizenship;
9) authorize the order of alternative civil service on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan for citizens entitled in accordance with the federal law to commute service in the armed forces to an alternative one;
10) establish and maintain relations and sign treaties and agreement with the republics, territories, provinces, autonomous region and autonomous districts, cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, not contradicting to the Constitutions of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan, this Treaty and other agreements between governmental authorities of the Russian Federation and governmental authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan.
11) are involved in international relations, establish relations with foreign states and sign agreements with them, which do not contradict to the Constitution and international obligations of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and this Treaty, are involved in activities of respective international organizations;
12) establish the National Bank in accordance with a specific agreement;
13) carry out foreign economic activities independently. Powers as for foreign economic activities in the field are divided by a special agreement;
14) settle, as it is provided by a special agreement, issues of conversion at the enterprises in governmental property in the Republic of Tatarstan;
15) institute National awards and Honorary titles of the Republic of Tatarstan.
1. In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Republic of Tatarstan (a state) is a subject of the Russian Federation, and obtains the plenitude of state power out of bounds of jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and powers of the Russian Federation as for the subjects of joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and subjects of the Russian Federation.
2.Taking into account that usage and protection of lands, mineral resources, waters, forests, and other natural resources on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan are the basis of life and activities of its multiethnic people, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan agree on joint settlement of issues, linred with the economic, ecological (as a result of long-term employment of oil deposits, taking into account mining and geological terms of producing hydrocarbons), cultural and other specific features of the Republic of Tatarstan. The Government of the Russian Federation and the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan present respective draft laws to Gosudarstvennaya Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on the above issues.
3. The Republic of Tatarstan carries out international and foreign economic relations with subjects and administrative territorial units of other states in the bounds of its jurisdiction, participates in activities of specially established for these goals bodies of international organizations, as well as signs agreements on the implementation of international, foreign political ties and carries out these ties with governmental authorities of other states with the consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, as it is envisaged by the government of the Russian Federation.
4. The Republic of Tatarstan with the consent of the Government of the Russian Federation renders govrnmental support and assistance to compatriots in saving self-identity, development of the national culture and language.
5. The national languages in the Republic of Tatarstan are Russian and Tatar, status and the way of using them is determined by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan, the federal law and the law of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Candidates for a post of a high ranking Faces of the Republic of Tatarstan, suggested in accordance with the procedure envisaged by the federal law, should meet an additional requirement of knowing the national languages of the Republic of Tatarstan. Knowing national languages of the Republic of Tatarstan is ascertained declaratively.
Citizens of the Russian Federation, living on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, are entitled to receive the principal identity document (regular passport of the citizen of the Russian Federation), with an insertion page on the national language of the Republic of Tatarstan (Tatar) and the image of the national coat of arms of the Republic of Tatarstan.
1. Time of validity of this Treaty - 10 years since the day of its entry into force
* Information about the Author:
Markiyan Chuchuk, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine.
The article is based on the presentation at the International Conference "Russian Statehood, Stable Instability".
1 - Official server of the Republic of Tatarstan (http://tatarstan.ru )
- Governmental portal of the Republic of Tatarstan (http://prav.tatar.ru )
- Business centre of the Republic of Tatarstan ( http://www.tatcenter.ru )
2 Габдрахманов Н.К., Биктимиров Н. М. Национальные особенности региона в формировани и демографического потенциала Республики Татарстан.Этнические аспекты географических исследований в школе и вузе: материалы регионального науч.-метод. семинара (Казань, 27 February, 2015). — Kazan: Казан. федер. ун-т, 2015. — p.p. 11-20
4 Хакимов Р.С. Татарстан: идеология регионального развития. Монография. – Казань: КЦФПП; Изд-во «ЯЗ», 2014. p.164.
6 Баскаков Н.А. Русские фамилии тюркского происхождения. – М., 1979; Халиков А.Х. 500 русских фамилий булгаро-татарского происхождения. – Казань, 1992.
14 Иванов В.В. Путинский федерализм. Централизаторские реформы в России в 2000-2008 годах.- М., Территория Будущего, 2008 г.
16 Борис Железнов."Российская Федерация и республика Татарстан: преодоление законодательных и судебных коллизий".- «Казанский федералист» journal.-#3(11), 2004.
19 Рыженков Сергей. Динамика трансформации и перспективы российского политического режима // Неприкосновенный запас. 2006. №6. p.65–78.
20 И.Бусыгина, М.Филиппов. «Вертикаль власти» как освоение имперского проекта в России: что дальше? – Перспективы российского федерализма в XXI веке. Под редак- цией Рафаэля Хакимова. – Казань: КЦФПП; Институт истории им. Ш.Марджани АН РТ, 2013. – p.p.11-12.
21 Ахтенберг Н., Бадура П. и др. Государственное право Германии. Т.I. – М., 1994. – p.80.
22 С.Шахрай. Федерализм: образ действий или образ мыслей. -http://www.kazanfed.ru/actions/konfer8/26/
23 И.Бусыгина, М.Филиппов. «Вертикаль власти» как освоение имперского проекта в России: что дальше? – Перспективы российского федерализма в XXI веке. Под редак- цией Рафаэля Хакимова. – Казань: КЦФПП; Институт истории им. Ш.Марджани АН РТ, 2013. – p.p.7-8.
24 А.Захаров. "Спящий институт". Федерализм в современной России и в мире. Новое литературное обозрение. Библиотека журнала "Неприкосновенный Запас". М., 2012, p.144.
32 Олександр Ніконоров. Коли розвалиться Росія: Чи скине Татарстан московське іго, 30 January, 2016.- http://www.depo.ua/ukr/svit/koli-rozvalitsya-rosiya-chi-skine-tatarstan-moskovske-yarmo-30012016120000
35 A number of articles of the new version of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan contain norms, similar in content to the norms of other constituent acts previously recognized by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation as not corresponding to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and thus non-valid.(Decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan of 31 March, 2004 #Зп-1-23/2004) http://pravo.usd24.com/reshenie-verhovnogo-suda-respubliki-tatarstan-ot-31-marta-2004-g-n-zp-1-232004/