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Bush continued to dodge helping the Russians and the President of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, laid bare the linkage for the Americans in his address to a joint session of Congress on February 21, I often hear the question: How can the United States of America help us today? My reply is as paradoxical as the whole of my life has been: You can help us most of all if you help the Soviet Union on its irreversible, but immensely complicated road to democracy. When the United States needed help with Germany's reunification, Gorbachev proved to be instrumental in bringing solutions to the "German problem" and Bush acknowledged that "Gorbachev was moving the USSR in the right direction".

Bush, in his own words, even gave praise to Gorbachev "to salute the man" in acknowledgment of the Soviet leader's role as "the architect of perestroika From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Perestroika disambiguation. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.

November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Golitsyn, Anatoliy Abalkin, Leonid Ivanovich Kursom uskoreniya [ The strategy of acceleration ]. Moscow: Politizdat. Cohen, Stephen F. Goldman, Marshall I. In David R. Henderson ed. Concise Encyclopedia of Economics 1st ed. Library of Economics and Liberty. Jha, Prem Shankar Pluto Press. Archived from the original on August 28, Retrieved November 16, Archived from the original on May 25, Armageddon Averted. Oxford University Press. The New York Times.

Retrieved 7 February University of Minnesota. Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Retrieved on 14 August International Monetary Fund.


Perestroika and glasnost. Autumn International Social Science Review. America, Russia, and the Cold War, This section's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. Revolutions of Cold War.

Nevertheless, stabilizing the country cannot be the only or the final goal. Russia needs development and modernization to become a leader in an interdependent world. Our country has not moved closer to that goal in the past few years, even though for a decade we have benefited from high prices for our main exports, oil and gas.

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The global crisis has hit Russia harder than many other countries, and we have no one but ourselves to blame. Russia will progress with confidence only if it follows a democratic path. Recently, there have been a number of setbacks in this regard. For instance, all major decisions are now taken by the executive branch, with the Parliament rubber-stamping formal approval. The independence of the courts has been thrown into question.

Why Is Russia's Economy So Resilient?

We do not have a party system that would enable a real majority to win while also taking the minority opinion into account and allowing an active opposition. There is a growing feeling that the government is afraid of civil society and would like to control everything. Do we want to go back? I agree with the president. I agree with his goal of modernization. But it will not happen if people are sidelined, if they are just pawns. If the people are to feel and act like citizens, there is only one prescription: democracy, including the rule of law and an open and honest dialogue between the government and the people.

Among both the people and the authorities, there is concern that a new round of modernization might lead to instability and even chaos. In politics, fear is a bad guide; we must overcome it. Today, Russia has many free, independently minded people who are ready to assume responsibility and uphold democracy.

But a great deal depends now on how the government acts. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address. Please re-enter. By the force of their action or example, joint ventures will engender a new population of managers: marketing managers, process-technology and information-technology specialists, financial analysts, quality engineers, and business strategists who will lead the Soviet economy into the next century.

Western companies going into the Soviet Union will, individually, have to create their markets, expand them, and develop them. Collectively, they must hold on for a market society. What has perestroika unleashed?


On September 24, , the USSR Parliament gave President Mikhail Gorbachev emergency powers to take the country toward a free market, including the mandate to privatize state assets and factories by transforming them into joint stock companies with shares to be traded on a stock exchange, also about to be created.

More cautious leaders, like Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov, have urged gradual change. Conceding that the Soviet planning system has failed, they argue not implausibly that it nonetheless acts as a firebreak against severe inflation, which would bring destitution to many Soviet citizens, especially to the 25 million state pensioners. Inflation would bring more desperate strikes, especially to the coal mines and oil fields. Still, we are almost certainly witnessing the dismantling of the institutions of Soviet economic planning, the last gasps of Gosplan.

Lenin once spoke of the withering away of the Communist state, which more than ever seems a fitting epitaph for the old regime. The Russian Parliament quickly and overwhelmingly adopted this plan, putting Gorbachev to the task of seeking a compromise between the approach of his prime minister and that of the leader of the largest republic in the union, a task further complicated by the quest for a new balance of power between the central government and the increasingly independent-minded republics. Typically, they have outdone forces in the central government in calling for the expansion of market freedom.

There are obvious advantages to sustaining a measure of political and economic integration among the Soviet republics, and Gorbachev and Yeltsin may be ultimately condemned to cooperate on a common program. But it no longer seems an exaggeration to say that the USSR is being transformed into a commonwealth of confederated states each with the power to tax and grant concessions—each a market society in its own right.

We cannot assume that national legislation will tie the republics together, that foreign economic policy will be the same for all, or that trade among them will continue unrestricted. Indeed, it may already be appropriate to start thinking about the country as 15 markets, maybe more. On one of my last visits to the Soviet Union, I expected to conduct negotiations in Moscow. Instead, I was whisked down to Tashkent by my Soviet partner, where the prime minister of Uzbekistan received us.

His message was that by the end of the year, his republic, though not about to secede, was going to be largely autonomous—with control of its own economy, its own foreign trade bank, the right to issue its own export and import licenses, and its own relations with international corporations. Today it is clear that his prediction was well founded.

Russia - The Gorbachev era: perestroika and glasnost |

Still, wrenching as it has been for the Soviets to move toward the world market economy, this is proving far less a challenge than actually surviving in it. There is no point belaboring what is obvious from the daily press. Perestroika has exposed even more disturbing failures in the Soviet economy than the ones it originally aimed to mitigate in the Soviet political system. The Soviet distribution system and communications infrastructure—not adequate in an age of burgeoning information technology—periodically verge on total collapse.

Soviet law, unfit for commercial life, is being rewritten to promote and protect market exchanges among individuals and corporations. On the books are a property law, a leasing law, a land law, and, more recently, a joint-stock company law and a limited-liability company law.

Yet as fast as the laws have been adopted, events have consistently overtaken them. Then there is the matter of Soviet currency. Inflation is a constant threat to social order. Soviet citizens no longer believe in their money or in any kind of saving.

There have been some changes. As of August 1, , Soviet citizens gained the right to receive and spend hard currency and to open foreign-exchange bank accounts. By presidential decree, a first major ruble devaluation was implemented on November 1, Yet an intractable question remains: How can Soviet enterprises earn enough hard currency in world markets to make any of these more than a token step?

Most existing Soviet enterprises produce goods that alienate Soviet consumers; they are assuredly unfit for global consumers. Much of this money must be reserved for emergency importing of critical consumer and medical products or spent on the ravaged Soviet environment. The rest is seed for future growth.

Soviet managers, though often dedicated and competent in ministering to outdated production systems, have virtually no usable concepts of marketing, business strategy, or commercial accounting. For foreign entrepreneurs, there are language barriers, vernacular barriers, bureaucratic delays and corruption. On the surface, then, the Soviet Union hardly seems a place where Western managers ought to think about spending tens of millions of dollars and hours and hours of their time.

But look below the surface. If the flood of proposals into my office is any indication, more and more Western business leaders see enormous opportunity.

Here, especially in Russia, the Ukraine, and the Baltic republics, are tens of millions of educated, motivated, highly cultivated Europeans who need virtually everything. This is a case where improving the world is just a way of preventing it from becoming seriously endangered. As West German business leaders have grasped, one cannot simply stand by while huge numbers of people from formerly Communist countries grow destitute.

There is no more iron curtain to keep us out—or Berlin Wall to keep them in. One has only to see the astonishing numbers of Romanian beggars in Parisian train stations to imagine where many more indigent people will go. More obvious is the risk to the world if the Soviet Union, a nuclear state, is allowed to descend into economic chaos. Besides, global companies cannot hedge their bets by holding back from the Soviet market and waiting for the picture to clear. The environment for investment will remain uncertain for a very long time. By waiting, say, a year or two, there is potentially something to lose and nothing to gain.

Five years from now, conditions may be somewhat more predictable, but by then first movers will have established advantageous positions both with Soviet consumers and with Soviet partners. These early movers will have not only the benefit of prime position but also a significant jump on the learning curve for survival and growth in this unique environment. And they will have earned the support of the now-emerging generation of Soviet reformers and entrepreneurs whose futures depend on demonstrating early results of perestroika.

There are profits to be reaped directly from Soviet science. For years, I have traveled to the Soviet Union with high-tech companies and have consistently encountered the same reaction from my clients. After they visit research laboratories, they are both deeply impressed by the level of scientific research and surprised to find Soviets on the cutting edge of many technologies. Whenever managers overfulfilled their production quotas, they put their premiums in jeopardy—like government bureaucrats everywhere who are afraid of raising the bar. Moreover, the negative incentive of trying something new and failing was particularly great.

As far as exporting technology, that was almost unheard of because any disclosure of Soviet technology was tantamount to giving away state secrets. Their system inherently discouraged disclosure of research that might have commercial value. With perestroika, this has changed. The Soviets are striving to generate hard currency and have little to export except for natural resources.

Why not try to develop a project that taps into their basic research or technology in areas of interest to the West? The management company would receive rights of first refusal to select Soviet basic technologies in a broad range of fields. A Western research institute would be a partner in the management company, and it would screen technologies, evaluate them for potential development and commercialization, and select the most promising ones.

The management company would then retain Western laboratories or companies to do further development work on the Soviet technology and bring it to a level where a patentable and marketable invention emerges. Then the invention would be licensed and the royalties would be shared between the investment fund and the Soviet inventor of the basic research. In the spring of , the USSR Academy of Sciences accepted this proposal, and 39 research institutes from the Russian, Ukranian, and other republics and representing many different areas of technology concluded agreements on first-refusal rights.

Arthur D. Little agreed to join as the Western institute in the management company.

There was then the inevitable period of delay, while elements in the still-cumbersome Soviet bureaucracy evaluated the project once again and held up authorization of the transfer of Soviet capital to the Geneva-based management company. But in September , the transfer was finally authorized, the company was constituted—and additional Soviet and republican research institutes and academies expressed interest in participating.

The project looks promising today. Western companies will find the Soviets advanced in laser, computer, and medical technologies. There are so many directions that laser technology can take, and not even the Japanese have taken every road.

Russia: 25 years after perestroika

In any case, Soviet science is pent up. They cannot do it by themselves. Some of these possibilities are already becoming actual, by the way. The Soviets have long been working to develop a small supersonic jet. Gulfstream has been very impressed with this technology, and it has done a market analysis exposing a substantial demand during the next ten years for, of all things, a supersonic corporate jet.

But considering the enormous lead time, why not work with the Soviets, who have already done a great deal of the research? The Soviets can also be expected to be well advanced in pharmaceuticals. As to military technology, some of what the Soviets have produced can already be redirected to useful commercial ends. Ironically, the Soviets can now make spying pay; they have offered to sell high-grade topographical satellite pictures to the British government for weather and mapping purposes.

The soviet military has also offered to launch satellites, which could be a very lucrative way of earning hard currency. As with Japan after World War II, Soviet military factories are probably the only enterprises in the country whose quality procedures would begin to approach world standards. Despite the growing instability of the top political leadership, one encounters more and more stability in the management of particular enterprises, where most discussions about partnership now take place.

Three or four years ago, the federal ministries took the lead on all negotiations. Today many of the bureaucrats who had taken part in early discussions have themselves joined the enterprises they helped envision. So the real question is not whether to but how to make the most of the Soviet opportunity. The answer cannot be conventional. Direct investment by global corporations, especially through joint ventures, is not simply a counterpart to an otherwise expanding Soviet capitalism.

Joint ventures, whether based on newly created partnerships or on foreign equity positions taken in privatized Soviet enterprises, are or are going to become the basis for expanding a competitive Soviet capitalism. They are the only way the Soviets will get the management and technology they need to withstand the pressures of global markets.

Joint ventures—more than 2, have already been registered—will engender new cells of business activity. They will bring with them new distribution systems, investment banking and venture capital networks, communications linkages—facts of commercial life evolved between joint ventures, reciprocal Soviet enterprises, and global companies. It is this new commercial infrastructure, not some old system of Soviet enterprise magically transformed by laissez-faire principles, that will become the foundation of Soviet capitalism.

And it is this new capitalism that will eventually be absorbed into the world economy. I shall explain its logic and achievements later. First, however, we should look closely at some critical changes in Soviet law and policy since perestroika began. No discussion of business strategy can be intelligent without an understanding of the economic landscape. Frenetic as they have been, reforms of Soviet political economy have culminated in a new legal context in which joint ventures like all Soviet enterprises can expect to operate much more freely than before.

I have noted that perestroika has lately produced a new property law, a new leasing law, a new land law, and so on and that laws adopted as guiding principles at the federal level are now in the process of being exceeded in their liberalism at the republican level. For business, this carries important strategic consequences.

In the past, land and natural resources belonged to the state, the ostensible representative of the people. Today the operative principle of law is that land belongs to the people who occupy it and is therefore administered by local governments. The fractionalizing effects of these legal changes have been most evident in tensions between the republics and the central state, but they will not stop there. I believe that the final step, private ownership of land, will inevitably come too.

For any joint venture, then, the new legal climate presents a most complicated business problem: how to negotiate not only with the republics but also with municipalities and enterprises.