First Steps toward Economic Independence: New States of the Postcommunist World

By Michael L. Wyzan | Go to book overview

nostalgic longing for) empire are often strong, these issues are messy and still unresolved.

Even after several rounds of negotiations, very little can be said about the form of the final settlement. Power politics and international pressure will play major but as yet unclear roles. While the size of the net burden which one side or the other will bear is not clear, the form of some individual burdens is beginning to emerge. Estonia says it will not accept any of the external debt of the Soviet Union. As this claim is strengthened legally by the fact that most states which existed in 1940 merely restored diplomatic relations with Estonia -- that is, they implicitly view the period 1940-92 as one of forced occupation -- this is also a not unlikely outcome.

At the same time, the withdrawing Russian army took along or destroyed most of its equipment and buildings. As most of this will be difficult to recover, Estonia will have the new burden of outfitting its armed forces. Even though these will be minuscule in comparison to the historic size of Soviet forces in Estonia, the financial burden will be enormous relative to Estonia's economic potential. Building up even the smallest navy or air force is out of the question for the next few years.35


CONCLUSIONS

Estonia's dual economic transformation exhibits unique elements as well as some general features common to all "new" states undertaking economic reforms. If the analyst can commit one mistake, it is to generalize too much from the Estonian experience. After all, the collapse of the previous states reflects a desire by the "new" nations, exhausted from marching in step, to choose separate paths of development. The difference of views on economic reform strategy in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is only one example. Over time, these countries will begin to have less and less in common.

Furthermore, the recent political histories of the ex-Soviet, -Yugoslav, and -Czechoslovak states are quite different. The CIS members and the Czech and Slovak Republics are true successor states, having gained independence simultaneously and through mutual recognition. The ex- Yugoslav republics other than Serbia and Montenegro are secessionist states, having gained recognition more or less for the first time after issuing unilateral declarations of independence. In contrast, the Baltics are "restored states" which did not secede but regained their previous independence de facto.

-43-

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First Steps toward Economic Independence: New States of the Postcommunist World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • References 21
  • I- FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS 23
  • 2- Estonia 25
  • CONCLUSIONS 43
  • Notes 45
  • Notes 48
  • 3- Ukraine 50
  • Conclusion 75
  • References 77
  • 4- Kazakhstan 80
  • 4- Kazakhstan 80
  • Notes 107
  • Notes 107
  • 5- Georgia 112
  • Notes 134
  • II- FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS 137
  • CONCLUSIONS 161
  • Notes 162
  • Notes 163
  • 7- Croatia 166
  • Conclusion 185
  • Notes 186
  • Notes 191
  • 8- Macedonia 193
  • Notes 219
  • Notes 221
  • III- OTHER CASES 227
  • 9- Slovakia 229
  • Notes 255
  • Index 259
  • About the Editor and Contributors 267
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