Soviet Foreign Aid

Soviet Foreign Aid

Soviet Foreign Aid

Soviet Foreign Aid

Excerpt

Soviet economic activity in Eastern Europe dates back to 1945, and in the Afro-Asian world to 1954. By the mid-1960's, some projects had been completed, and some loans had even been repaid. Enough time has elapsed, therefore, to make possible an examination of the Soviet record. This would seem to be an especially appropriate project now that some of the past recipients of Soviet aid have become less reluctant to discuss the merits of the help they have been receiving. Previous studies, such as Nicolas Spulber's excellent analysis The Economics of Communist Eastern Europe andJoseph Berliner's pathfinding monograph Soviet Economic Aid, were written either before the Russians began to react to the Polish and Hungarian uprisings or while the Soviet aid program was still in its infancy. Consequently, the problems were less complicated, and there was little to be criticized since little had actually been visibly accomplished. Moreover, no one has heretofore attempted to examine and compare Russian relations with all the less developed countries--that is, not only with the neutralist nations, but with the countries of Eastern Europe and Communist Asia.

At first glance, it might appear that there is nothing to be gained by lumping Soviet economic relations with both Communist and neutralist countries together. To provide the proper perspective, however, a study of Soviet relations with the developing countries should begin with an examination of how the U.S.S.R. has treated the less developed countries within its own orbit. This was the Soviet Union's first major experience in economic relations with weaker countries, and certain patterns that were first established in Eastern Europe and China continue to be of significance in the Soviet aid program today. After a brief look at Soviet policy in the various Communist countries, we will devote the remainder of the study to an examination of Soviet economic practice in the emerging nations. The Russian record is considerably better there than in Eastern Europe, but by no means is it perfect.

For the most part, criticisms of Soviet aid and trade have been overshadowed by praise. For an American, this is especially intriguing.

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