■ Helping the USSR: Why, How, Who?
WithMarie Lavigne
Pages 15

The Western partners of Soviet foreign trade organizations, state enterprises allowed to trade under the new foreign trade regime operating since 1989, began to complain about delays in payments. By the end of 1990's first quarter, the USSR was behind in its payments by an estimated $2 billion, and many foreign exporters suspended deliveries. Payments in cash were made with the export revenues from the sale of raw materials and fuels, or from gold sales, and also from borrowing secured on the international financial markets. In the framework of a general aid package under the stabilization program, the Shatalin report envisages special credits in hard currency that could be obtained from Western governments and granted to enterprises, through special lending funds possibly set up both abroad and in the USSR. Shatalin makes the interesting suggestion of processing the USSR's "soft" claims on debtors from developing countries.