chapter  6
Western Interests in and Leverage on the Soviet and East European Economies 1
WithDonato Di Gaetano
Pages 18

The trend of improving economic relations between East and West Europe reflects the basic economic complementarity of the two regions and is why Europeans consider East–West trade important to their future development. The most surprising fact is that the Eastern market is less relevant for the EEC countries than the Swiss market. It is useful to add that the EEC trade turnover with Eastern Europe is larger than the quota of trade for the United States and Japan. The solution the six smaller countries of Eastern Europe pursued to reduce their indebtedness was to curtail their hard-currency imports from the West, especially from the EEC countries. The real constraint to the further development of East–West trade is in the strategic decision made by the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance countries to balance, in the future, their commercial and financial relations with the West. The structural imbalances of Eastern economies cannot be overcome by only deflationary policies.