Government Structures in the U.S.A. and the Sovereign States of the Former U.S.S.R: Power Allocation among Central, Regional, and Local Governments

By James E. Hickey Jr.; Alexej Ugrinsky | Go to book overview

34
Federal Aspects of the Development of the U.S.S.R. and RSFSR Economic Laws During Perestroika

Olga Floroff

It is a major fallacy that the Soviet Union has no previous experience in corporate and joint-venture laws. Soviet legal experience in these subjects did not start on January 13, 1987, when the Presidium of the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet adopted a Decree on Questions Concerning the Establishment in the Territory of the U.S.S.R. and Operation of Joint Ventures, International Amalgamations and Organizations with the Participation of Soviet and Foreign Organizations, Firms and Management Bodies." 1 It dates back to at least the 1920s.

The large complex of private partnerships existing in prerevolutionary Russia was destroyed by decrees of 1918-20. They were nationalized, confiscated, and monopolized by the state. Nevertheless, some, including trading houses, survived.

On July 27, 1918, the Russian Soviet of Peoples Commissars, the predecessor of the Council of Ministers, enacted a decree obligating all private joint-stock companies to register with the Department of Interior Trade of the Peoples Commissariat of Trade and Industry. At this time, the Soviet Union had not yet been formed. And even the first postrevolutionary constitution for Russia was promulgated only 17 days prior to this date. 2

In the spring of 1921, the New Economic Policy was inaugurated. Its implementation was necessary to give the country's economy an opportunity to recover. Private enterprise in small industry and retail trade was allowed. A limited use of hired labor in agriculture and restricted land leasing was permitted. 3 At the end of 1921, the 9th Congress of Soviets allowed the creation of "mixed joint-stock companies" with participation of state capital and foreign capital. The purpose of these companies was to prepare and market export commodities and to import food to Russia. The participation of the

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