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Cover Art: Bonnie Brengelman, Sirin, 1994
To Russians I have known
ISBN: 0-15-501053-0
Library of Congress Catalog Number: 94-73035
Copyright 1995 by Harcourt Brace & Company
Copyright 1974 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston
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1 1. Craig ZumBrunnen, "A Review of Soviet Water Quality Management: Theory
and Practice," Chapter 13 in Geographical Studies on the Soviet Union: Essays in
Honor of Chauncy D. Harris, Research Paper No. 211, edited by Roland Fuchs and
George Demko (Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1984 ), pp. 257-294; and Boris
Komarov, The Geography of Survival: Ecology in the Post-Soviet Era (Armonk, N. Y:
M.E. Sharpe, 1994).
12. Denis J. B. Shaw, Russia in the Modern World: A New Geography (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1999), p. 133.
1 3. Craig ZumBrunnen, "Institutional Reasons for Soviet Water Pollution Prob-
lems," Proceedings of the Associations of American Geographers, vol. 6 (1974), pp.
105-1 08; and ZumBrunnen, "A Review of Soviet Water Quality Management: Theory
and Practice," pp. 270-273.
14. See Judith Thornton and Andrea Hagan, "Russian Industry and Air Pollution,
What Do the Official Data Show?" Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 34, no. 2
(Summer 1992), p. 19.
15. See Jonathan Oldfield, "Environmental Impact of Transition-A Case Study
of Moscow City," Geographical Journal, vol. 165, no. 2 ( 1999), pp. 222-231.
16. Komarov, The Geography of Survival, p. 56.
17. James H. Bater, Russia and the Post-Soviet Scene: A Geographical Perspective
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1996), p. 316.
18. Craig ZumBrunnen, "The Lake Baikal Controversy: A Serious Water Pollu-
tion Threat or a Turning Point in Soviet Environmental Consciousness?" in Environ-
mental Deterioration in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, edited by Ivan Volgyes
(New York: Praeger, 1 974), pp. 90-114.
19. Loren R. Graham, The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the
Fall of the Soviet Union (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).
20. For example, see Peter Rutland, "Sovietology: Who Got It Right and Who Got
It Wrong? And Why?" in Rethinking the Soviet Collapse: Sovietology, the Death of
Communism and the New Russia, edited by M. Cox (London and New York: Pinter,
1998), pp. 32-50; and Oldfield, "Environmental Impact of Transition-A Case Study
of Moscow City," pp. 222-231 .
21. N. A. Gladkov, "Bogatstva prirody: zabotlivo okhraniat', razurnno ispol' zovat'.
Vosstanavlivat' i umnnnnozhat' ," Priroda, no. 2 ( 1962), p. 6.
22. Igor Petryanov, "Quo Vadis," Soviet Life (November 1970), p. 53.
23. G. Khromushin, "Is Technology to Blame?-Who Benefits from Concepts of
an Irreversible Ecological Crisis?" Current Digest of the Soviet Press, vol. 31, no. 37
(October 10, 1979), p. 15.
24. ZumBrunnen, "Institutional Reasons for Soviet Water Pollution Problems,"
pp. 105-108.
25. For example, see Andrew R. Bond and Matthew J. Sagers, "Some Observa-
tions on the Russian Federation Environmental Protection Law," Post-Soviet Geogra-
phy, vol. 33, no. 7 (September 1992), pp. 463-474; Komarov, The Geography of Sur-
vival, pp. 3-13; D. J. Peterson and EricK. Bielke, "The Reorganization of Russia's
Environmental Bureaucracy: Implications and Prospects," Post-Soviet Geography and
Economics, vol. 42, no. I (January-February 2001), pp. 65-76; Craig ZumBrunnen
and Nathaniel Trumbull, "Obstacles and Opportunities to the Establishment of an
Environmental Information Network in Northwest Russia," Journal of Urban and
Regional Development Research, vol. 8, no. I (2000), pp. 38-58; and Craig
ZumBrunnen and Nathaniel Trumbull, "An Emerging Northwest Russia Environmental
Information Network: IT Capacity Building for Environmental Protection aml Su>-
tainable Development," NETCOM, vol. 15, nos. 3-4 (2001 ).
26. T. Saiko, "Environmental Crises: Geographical Case Studies in Post-Socialist
Eurasia" (Harlow, England: Prentice Hall, 200 I), p. 61.
27. A. Knorre, "The Rise and Fall of Environmental Protection as a National Secu-
rity Issue," Russia's Fate through Russian Eyes: Voices of the New Gerzeration (Boul-
der: Westview, 200 I), p. 291.
28. For example, see Goskomekologiia, 0 sostoianii okmzhaiuslzchei pridronui
sredy Rossiiskoi Federatsii v 1999 g. (Moscow: Goskomekologiia, 2000).
29. OECD, Environmental Performance Reviews. Russian Federation (Paris: Or-
ganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1999), p. 45; and Bond and
Sagers, "Some Observations on the Russian Federation Environmental Protection Law,"
pp. 463-473.
30. Peterson and Bielke, "The Reorganization of Russia's Environmental Bureau-
cracy: Implications and Prospects," pp. 65-70.
31. Feshbach and Friendly, Jr., Ecocide in the USSR.
32. Craig ZumBrunnen, "Vliianie geografo-ekonomicheskikh faktorov na sistell\ )'
upravleniia kachestvom vody," fspo/' zovanie matemati chcsk ikh modefn d/iu
optimizatsii upravleniia kachestvom vody: Trudy Sovetsko-Amcrikanskugo
tom I (Leningrad: Gidprometeoizdat, 1979), pp. 1 g6-216.
33. Craig ZumBrunnen, "Mechanisms for Environmental Quality Management:
Framework for Application in Ukraine." in Ekonomika ukraini: min1de, sucasne i
mayburnh-The Economy of Ukraine: Past , Present and Future, Proceedings llf Fir>t
Congress of the International Ukrainian Economic Association, edited by George
Chuchman and Mykola Herasymchuk (Kiev: Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Insti-
tute of Economics, 1993 ), pp. 168-183.
34. OECD, Environmental Performance Reviews. Russian Federation, p. 45.
35. Knorre, "The Rise and Fall of Environmental Protection as a National Security
Issue," p. 294.
36. OECD, Environmental Performance Reviews. Russian Federation, p. 5 I.
37. N. D. Sorokin, ed., Okhrana ukruzhaiushchei sredy, pnj)()dopul' zovanie 1
obespechenie ekologicheskoi bezopasnosti v Sankt-Peterburge za ]980-2000 gorly
(St. Petersburg: Adrninistratsiia Sankt-Peterburga upravlenie po okhrane okruzhaiush-
chei sredy, 2000), p. 30.
38. OECD, Environmental Performance Reviews. Russian Federat ion, p. 142.
39. OECD, Environmental Financing in the Russian Federation (Paris and Wash
ington, DC: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development , 1998).
40. OECD, Environmental Performance Reviews. Russian Federation , p. 147.
41. Stig Kjeldsen, "Financing of Environmental Protection in Russia: The Role or
Charges," Post-Soviet Geography and Economics, vol. 41, no. I (January-February
2000), pp. 48-62.
42. Ria Oreanda, "Taxes, Economic Press Review: Taxes," Delovoy Peterburg,
June 28, 2002.
43. Andrew R. Bond, "Environmental Disruption During Economic Downturn:
White Book Report," Post-Soviet Geography, vol. 34, no. 1 (January I 993), p. 75.
44. Oldfield, "Environmental Impact of Transition-A Case Study of Moscov.;
City," pp. 222-231; and Victoria R. Bityukova and Robert Argenbright, "Environ-
mental Pollution in Moscow: A Micro-Level Analysis," Eurasian Geography and
Economics, vol. 43, no. 3 (April-May 2002), pp. 197-2 15.
Safety and Natural Resource Use. Despite its new name, this agency appears
to have retained its environmental protection responsibilities in full. But such
positive examples appear to be the exception rather than the rule. Further
attempts to create the outward appearance of retaining the trappings of a
state environmental protection agency seem to have been lost on the Putin
government. State-sponsored environmentally sensitive/threatening initiatives,
such as the recently completed Baltic Pipeline System or oil extraction de-
velopment on Sakhalin Island and offshore in its coastal fishing grounds,
have instead not surprisingly met with no resistance or significant interfer-
ence from within the Ministry of Natural Resources from the point of view
of environmental protection. As one Russian commentator has observed:
"There simply is no environmental policy in Russia-the existing policy could
actually be construed as intending to destroy environmental policy."
If any positive developments have occurred in terms of state environmen-
tal protection since April 2000, it may be in terms of the improvement of
accessibility to some basic environmental information resources within the
Ministry of Natural Resources. The annual reports on the "Status of the En-
vironment" are readily available online at the Ministry's website. One of the
major drawbacks of the annual reports produced by the oblast-level offices
of Goskomekologiia had been their very small press runs . Also, official envi-
ronmental publications are with increasing frequency being made available
on oblast-level websites. The ministry also funds two newspapers with envi-
ronmental coverage, Prirodno-resursnye Vedomosti and Ekologicheskaia
Gazeta Spasenie, though each has an admittedly government rather than ac-
tivist perspective. Those public officials who did not regret the passing of the
former Goskomekologiia remain optimistic that a better-financed agency, the
Ministry of Natural Resources, will provide more opportunities for invest-
ment in environmental infrastructure such as wastewater and purification
plants than Goskomekologiia had in the past. But such optimists are also
admittedly few.
Human Rights and Environmental Whistle-Blowers in Russia
Human rights issues remain critical for Russian environmental activists, as
the cases of Grigorii Pasko (a naval journalist accused of revealing naval
secrets concerning dumping in the Sea of Japan) and Igor Sutiagin (accused
of spying and transferring state secrets to Western government representa-
ti ves, though he has demonstrated that his only sources were from the public
record) continue to demonstrate. The acquittal of Alexandr Nikitin, after more
than five years of court proceedings and delays and a one-year jail term,
appears to be an exception that was made for a Russian whistle-blower under
the lobbying pressure and publicity campaign successfully aimed at the court
of world opinion. As has been noted, Russian courts do not have a good
record of independence.
Incidents of employee firings at nuclear power
plants and other environmentally sensitive sites continue to occur regularl y
as whistle-blowers attempt to bring environmental risks to the light of the
public. Russian environmental NGOs ' almost inevitable reliance on foreign
financial assistance (especially under conditions of active opposition to so
many of the Russian government's current policies) continues to come under
attack from the highest levels of the Russian government. From the point of
view of Western governments, however, this support is one of the best pos-
sible peace dividend investments.
Alexandr Nikitin, a former naval officer based in Murmansk, drew the
wrath of the Russian military establishment for his co-writing of a report for
the Norwegian NGO Bellona on the topic of nuclear hazards from the Soviet
and Russian navy in the Barents Sea region. Nikitin was arrested in February
1996 and held in solitary confinement for fourteen weeks. After more than a
year in prison for alleged spying and release of state secrets to a foreign
government, he was released and drew international attention to human right s
abuses on Russian whistle-blowers. Nikitin was later fully absolved of his
accusations, but only after two years of highly public trial s that to many
viewers revealed to what extent some authorities would go in an effort to
conceal environmental information if it was considered even remotel y re-
lated to militarily sensitive information and activities. The Russian Supreme
Court eventually heard his case. Niktin's conviction created an outrage both
internationally and in Russian environmental NGO circles. Nikitin's law-
yers, engaged by Bellona, were seen as having played a critical role in Nikitin 's
acquittal. The fate of another Russian whistle-blower, Grigory Pasko, has
been less fortunate. Pasko worked as an investigative journalist for the news-
paper of the Russian Pacific Fleet, "Boyevaya Vakhta," where he focused on
nuclear safety issues. He was arrested by the Russian Securit y Service (FSB)
in November 1997 and accused of committing treason through espionage
when working with Japanese journalists. The Court of the Pacific Fleet ac-
quitted Pasko of the treason charges in July 1999 and released him under a
general amnesty. Yet the Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court
reversed the verdict in November 2000 and sent the case back to the Pacific
Fleet Court for a retrial. Pasko was next sentenced to four years of prison in
December 2001. Whether or not the Russian Supreme Court will hear his
appeal remains unresolved, and a decision was expected in June 2002. Both
cases came to be highly publicized in Russia and have been viewed as criti-
cal indicators of the tolerance of the Russian government toward environ-
mental whistle-blowers in general.
Goskomekologiia and the Devolution of State Environmental
Government Decree Number 643 of May 26, 1997 replaced the Ministry of
Environmental Protection with the State Committee on Environmental Pro-
tection (Goskomekologiia).
This loss in status of a state environmental
protection agency came soon after Yeltsin 's second election victory in the
summer of 1996. The decision reflected a renewed interest in natural re-
source exploitation at the expense of a lowering of the stature of state envi -
ronmental protection. Goskomekologiia 's stated tasks were to: ( 1) implement
and coordinate environmental policies; (2) develop environmental policy
instruments; (3) implement state ecological examinations and inspections;
(4) manage nature conservation; (5) establish and supervise environmental
norms and standards; (6) prepare reports on the state of the environment
and provide technical a ~ v i c e ; and (7) manage the Federal Ecological Fund.
A final sphere of responsibility of Goskomekologiia involved international
environmental cooperation.
Goskomekologiia held offices at the republic, oblast, and krai levels. At
the republic and oblast levels, Goskomekologiia maintained a relatively large
amount of independence, often siding with local needs rather than federal-
level preferences. In St. Petersburg, for example, the city-level administra-
tion for environmental protection was often at odds with Goskomekologiia,
especially as concerned the distribution of resources of the regional Environ-
mental Fund.
A number of other federal bodies also had jurisdiction over
environmental protection issues. Those bodies were: (I) the Ministry of Pub-
lic Health; (2) the Ministry of Emergency Situations; (3) the State Commit-
tee for Land Policy; ( 4) the State Committee for Fisheries; (5) the Federal
Forestry Service; and (6) the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology.
appointment of visible scientific bureaucrats, such as Victor Ivanovich
Danilov-Danilian, the former minister of Goskompriroda (affectionately called
Dan-Dan by some Russian environmentalists), as chairman of the new
Goskomekologiia, provided some continuity from the former Goskompriroda.
He continued to serve as chairman until the dissolution of Goskomekologiia
in April 2000.
The record of Goskomekologiia was decidedly mixed. An evaluation of
the success or insufficiencies of Goskomekologiia's environmental protec-
tion record depends in large part on the local perspective. Reasonably well-
trained and increasingly experienced ranks of thousands of inspectors had
emerged by the end of the 1990s. Cases of bribery of those inspectors or
other Goskomekologiia officials undoubtedly exi sted, but they appear to be
the exception rather than the rule. Larger environmental projects appeared to
be going ahead in the late 1990s, especially once the August 17, 1998, fman-
cial crisis had subsided. Goskomekologiia 's offtces communicated relatively
openly and regularly with the environmental NGO cornmuni ty.
Goskomekologiia began to create World Wide Web-based environmental in-
formation resources.51 Devolution of power within Goskomekologiia from
the federal to the regional and local levels appeared to be providi ng both
opportunities for creative environmental problem solving of environmental
issues on the local level, but also for abuse and violations. In Bashki ria, for
example, a dam was under construction in an area that was also considered
part of a national park. 52 Elsewhere, de facto decentralization meant that de-
cision-makers at the local level were "left to ftll in the gaps" as they saw flt.
On balance, Goskomekologiia's work found both supporters and critics. but
even its most vocal NGO critics would soon be appalled by the prospect of
the agency's subsequent dismantlement.
Dissolution of Goskompriroda and Transfer to the Ministry of
Natural Resources
Vladimir Putin ' s ascendancy to the presidency, first as act ing president on
December 31, 1999, and then by an overwhelming electoral victory three
months later, resulted in a major retrogressive course-reversal for state c:nvi-
ronmental protection in Russia. Putin's self-proclaimed ideology of "strength-
ening of vertical power" sought to rein in the relative independence of the
regions that had emerged in the 1990s.
Within two months after having
assumed power as Russia's president by election, Putin issued Decree 867,
which liquidated Goskomekologiia and transferred its responsibilities to the
Ministry of Natural Resources. The May 17, 2000, decree also abolished the
Federal Forestry Service and transferred its responsibilities to the same Min-
istry of Natural Resources. The 200-year-old Forestry Service had numbered
about 100,000 employees.
Putin's decision appeared to be a reaction to a number of event s: ( l) the
devolution from centralized to decentralized management that had occurred
within Goskomekologiia; (2) the August 1998 devaluation of the ruble, from
which Russia's economy has begun only slowly to recover (though the de-
valuation is now widely viewed as a positive event from the point of view of
economists); and, closely related, (3) renewed state support for an unencum-
bered exploitation of Russia's natural resources in order to revive Russia's
economy as quickly as possible. The fallout from Decree 867 was almost
immediate among Russia's nascent but increasingly cyber-networked envi-
ronmental NGO community. Expressing disbelief, several NGO represent a-
tives clung to the point of view that the decision must have been maJe without
USSR to Russian Federation: Environmental Policy in the
Transition Years
Legal Framework and Policy Tools of State Environmental
Protection in Russia
The development of state environmental protection in Russia since the col-
lapse of the Soviet Union has closely paralleled the process of emergence,
growth, and consolidation of Russian democratization. The period has been
characterized by increasing attention to state environmental protection dur-
ing the glasnost period in the mid- and late 1980s, the strengthening of that
protection during the 1990s, a devolution toward regional environmental pro-
tection responsibility in the mid-1990s, and the eventual consolidation of
state environmental protection into Putin 's "strengthening of vertical power"
(ukreplenie vlastnoi vertikali). State environmental protection during this
period has been marked by remarkable evolution and change, but also by
After more than a decade of reform in Russia, state environmen-
tal protection resembles more the Soviet state's approach to exploitation of
the natural environment than it has in any period since the collapse of the
Soviet Union. The periodization that follows traces the institutional context
of the developments (and the subsequent near dismantling) of state environ-
mental protection in Russia from the glasnost period to the present time.
Emerging Focus on the Environment
Public response to environmental degradation on the whole remained stifled
until the last years of the Soviet Union as a result of the paucity of available
informati on on the subject. As one environmental specialist has written: "The
seventy-three-year history is a history of systematic misinformation on the
environmental situation in Russia."
Criticism of the Soviet government's
lack of divulgence of public information turned out to be well founded when
the fl oodgates of information on the actual state of the environment in Rus-
sia were opened. Heated debate and criticism in the Congresses of Peopl es'
Deputies in 1989 and 1999 came to focus to a large degree on environmental
degradation and especially its health consequences. The Soviet regime' s cava-
lier approach in its exploitation of the natural environment began to be fully
revealed to the public. Public opinion polls of this period showed that the
environment ranked second or third among the problems that most concerned
the nati on's citizens.
As a result of the growing attention on the degradation of the Soviet Union's
natural environment, a January 1988 Soviet government decree establi shed
the USSR Committee on Environmental Protection and Natural Resource
Use (Goskompriroda). It was to replace a much weaker USSR Council of
Ministers' Commission on Environmental Protection. Goskompriroda would
be responsible for the environmental protection of Soviet natural resources.
Beginning in 1989, a series of State annual reports on the state of the envi-
ronment provided the first official account of environmental conditions and
environmental protection efforts in the Soviet Union. The annual reports aimed
"to promote the 'dissemination of verified environmental information, the
mobilization of society's efforts to improve the environment, and rational
use of natural resources, as well as the adopting of effect ive management
decisions in this sphere."
The reports presented a compilation and synthesis
of the work of a large number of environmentally related agencies and spe-
cialists and, indeed, became, as the 1999 report would state, a "unique" gov-
ernment document.
New legislation was promulgated under Mikhail Gorbachev and became
the 1991 Law on Environmental Protection. The law speci ti ed: (I ) a citizen's
right to a healthy and safe environment; (2) a citizen's right to form environ-
mental associations, to obtain information, and to seek legal redress for em i-
ronmental change; (3) environmental responsibilities of the fede ral and other
governmental levels; (4) environmental obligations of enterpri ses; (5) a state
ecological examination system; (6) environmental liabi lity; and (7) creati on
of an environmental funds system.
Other earlier laws, such as the I L)82 Law
.on Air Protection, remained in force. Contradictions between new laws and
existing laws would remain a hallmark of the reform period. Gorbachev also
appointed a special presidential advisor to work on environmental issues.
Aleksei Yablokov, a highly respected biologist and member of the Academy
of Sciences, served as a highly visible presidential advisor into the begin-
ning of the Yeltsin presidency.
Press reports during thi s period carried more and more revealing details
about environmental degradation that had taken place during the Soviet pe-
riod. A Russian translation of Ecocide in the USSR by the Western specialists
Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly reached a wide audience in Russia_ll
Many specialists in the Soviet Union criticized the book's conclusions as apoca-
lyptic, but those same conclusions appeared to many others to be accurate. The
activity of environmental NGOs grew signi fi cant ly during this period. Such
influential NGOs as the umbrella Socio-Ecological Union came into existence
during this period. The Institute for Soviet-American Relati ons (JSAR, later
renamed Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia) opened an office
in Moscow. Civil society grew from a small number of dissidents to a tledgling
NGO community, as witnessed by the active presence of the Socio-Ecological
Union throughout all of the republics of the Soviet Union by the end of 1992.
The Historical Legacy
Soviet Legacy and Inheritance
Academic discussions of environmental issues had already emerged in So-
viet scientific circles in thel960s.
During the late Soviet periou, a number
of precursors to Russia's state environmental protection in the 1990s had
emerged. An elaborate set of environmental laws and several agencies re-
quireu a detailed reporting of environmental conditions and violations.
those laws existed largely on paper rather than in practice. Legislation such
as the 1960 Law on Air Protection and the 1972 Water Colle established
seemingly strict norms, in some cases stricter than in the West, but in prac-
tice those norms were not widely enforced.
Soviet factory managers often
misreported water effluent and air pollution data. A number of Western spe-
cialists have demonstrated that even officially published environmental sta-
tistics could be largely inaccurate.
The late Soviet period was also a time of
relative detente and unprecedented numbers of exchanges between Soviet
and Western scientists. Yet knowledge about environmental issues was con-
siuered specialized knowledge and not for public consumption or analysis.
To an unfortunate degree, the Soviet public at large remained without access
to scientific knowledge of environmental issues, their health effects, and the
extent of environmental degradation in their own country.
Soviet officials
justified their silence on the topic under the pretense of not wishing to alarm
the public with information that the public was seen as unprepared to inter-
pret scientifically.
A number of highly visible cases of environmental disruption neverthe-
less came to be discussed in the press in the second half of the 1980s as press
censorship was lifted. The old environmental cause celebre from the 1960s,
Lake Baikal, once again took center stage.
Even the Soviet planners' great-
est ambitions for industrialization of the region could not entirely outweigh
th<! threat to the lake's large number of unique biological species. The total
number of planned paper plant projects to be built on the lake, especially on
the northern shore where the Baikai-Amur-Magistral (BAM) railway line
passed, was eventually revised and lowered, and a ban was imposed on the
movement oflogs on the lake itself.
A similar ban on log floating on Baikal's
tributaries had been imposed by decree in 1960, but obviously was not effec-
tive or enforced.
Debate over construction of a flood barrier project in
Leningrad also captured national attention and debate. The proposed rever-
sal of Siberian rivers in order to make them flow south to the arid lands of
Central Asia, which had a long history of debate, much of it translated by
Ted Shabad for Soviet Geography Review and Translation, once again be-
came part of public discussion. 19 The 1n6 Chernobyl inciuent tragicall y
reinforced the conclusion among the Soviet public that the Soviet guvem-
ment had not placed public health ftrst. Indeed, it has been argued that envi-
ronmental degradation and its accompanying health consequences playeu an
important role in discrediting the legitimacy of the Soviet state in the eyes of
its own citizens.
Placing the Blame on Capitalism's Institutions
Prior to Gorbachev, a common Soviet refrain was that environmental prob-
lems were the natural outcomes of capitalism's institutional triau of private
property, the profit motive, and "free market" competition, all of which
create powerful incentives for individuals and tirms to generate env iron-
mental externalities or social costs by discarding their unwanted industrial ,
mining, forestry, anu agricultural by-products into the air, water, and land
of the surrounding environment, thereby lowering their production cosb
and increasing their entrepreneurial competitiveness in the marketplace.
lnueed, Western economic theorists since the time of Pigou's writings in
the nineteenth century developed and honed such arguments. lead-
ers pointed to the work of Pigou to affirm this perspective to \\'estern ob-
servers and their own citizens as environmental problems began to surface
in the former Soviet Union. They attributed these problems to vestiges of
capitalism rather than to shortcomings of the Soviet command economy or
rapid economic growth in general. Accordingly, while the environmental
movement in the West was burgeoning rapidly even before the tirst Lnth
Day in 1970, Soviet and Marxist theoreticians and policy makers were ar-
guing that Western environmental problems provided convincing empiri-
cal evidence that capitalism and its profit motive breed environmental
disruption and destruction.
The Soviet Theoretical Ability to Prevent Environmental
The Soviet Union's leadership's counterargument was that lack of capi-
talism with its private property rights, private profit motive, anu free
markets protected it from serious environmental problems. For example,
some four decades ago, the Soviet academician, Professor N. A. Glaukov,
asserted that:
In the Soviet Union it is not as if there were need of special measures fur
the protection of nature as the very structure of Soviet society founded on
problems, skipping over their main causes, trends, impacts, severity, and spa-
tial patterns. However, due to the rather well-established scientific link be-
tween levels of air pollution and the incidence of human health problems,
slightly more detail about Russian air pollution problems will be included
(see Map 13.1 ).
Water Quality and Water Availability
Very few of the medium-size to large-size rivers and lakes of Russia remain
free from pollution, even in the Far North, Siberia, and the Far East. The
most severely polluted waterways are located in the Volga-Caspian Basin
and the Ob' -Irtysh Basin, and the latter basin's waterways suffer especially
from petroleum contamination. Freshwater availability is problematic in many
regions, and a significantly larger fraction of Russia's best agricultural lands
are susceptible to drought than was the relative case for the former Soviet
Union as a whole. A very large fraction of the entire Russian coastline and its
estuaries have polluted waters, especially along the Barents Sea coastline
and the coastal waters of the Russian Far East.
Soil, Habitat, and Wildlife
Both soil contamination and soil erosion are serious. Extensive areas of the
country are negatively impacted by the pollution of the soil by heavy metals.
Pesticide contamination extends throughout the entire range of Russian agri-
cultural lands, but is especially severe in the North Caucasus, Central Cher-
nozem (Black Earth), and lower Volga River basin. Habitat destruction is
especially significant in the logging areas of northwest Russia, southern Si-
beria, and the Far East. Lucrative poaching has increased the number and
geographical extend of endangered species.
Radioactive Contamination and Hazards
Radioactive contamination and the risks of nuclear submarines and power plant
accidents are very real. For example, there are reported to currently be some
two thousand organizations in Moscow that used radioactive materials in their
work, including eleven nuclear reactors. The largest nuclear-wastes deposit is
located on the territory of the Kurchatovsky Institute nuclear research facility,
and the Ministry for Nuclear Power acknowledges this fact. There was no ra-
diation control system at all in Moscow until 1960. As a result, dangerously
radioactive wastes were buried throughout the city. Some 70 percent of the
radioactively contaminated sites are often found during the excavations for
construction projects. Over the past twenty-tive years the Moscow City gov-
ernment has liquidated over I ,350 such contaminated sites and has removed
over 930 tons of radioactive wastes.
And in terms of severity, Mosco\v is far
less radioactively contaminated than other regions in the vicinity of Krasnoyarsk ,
Cheliabinsk, Lake Karachai, Miass in the Urals, and elsewhere. A description
and map of the radioactive contamination "hot spots" in Russia paints a truly
chilling portrait for current and future Russian citizens
Natural Hazards
Russian environmental policies also will need to address numerous natu-
ral hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami s, droughts ,
floods, and forest fires. The link between human health problems and
environmental pollution seems tragically well established in Russia
simply as a list of environmental problems crying out for sound policy
responses, this listing is very far from complete, and readers are referred
to nearly all of the references cited at the end of this chapter for more
specific details. However, before proceeding with a historical retrospec-
tive of Soviet/Russian environmental policy, we have decided to include
at least a bit more detail about one of Russia's more serious environmen-
tal problems, air pollution.
Air Pollution Levels
Air quality has long been and remains a major problem thwughuut the ur-
banized realms. One of the major changes in the post-Soviet era is that the
air quality in the cities of European Russia that had experienced a quantum
improvement in the late seventies and eighties when natural gas replaced
coal and oil for many industrial and domestic uses (especially fueling boilers
for space heating) has again deteriorated due to exhaust gases of the autonJLJ
biles whose number has been swelled by millions of used and poorly tuned
imports from elsewhere in Europe and Japan. During the Soviet era, gaseous
and aerosol releases from the thousands of industrial smokestacks Jotting
the landscape of the "fertile triangle" (the territory enclosed by an imaginary
triangle with vertices at then Leningrad, Irkutsk, and Odessa in Ukraine)
belched millions of tons of contaminants into the atmosphere annually, with
one of the worst places and most deleteriously ecologically impacted re-
gions being the metallurgical center of Noril' sk in northem East Siberia. " At
NoriJ' sk, stationary sources annually emitted more tonnage of air pollutants
than the combined tonnage from the smokestacks of the four next worse
urban industrial complexes, Novokuznetsk, Magnitorgorsk, Cherpovets, and
Copyright 2003 by M. E. Sharpe, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of thi s book may be reproduced in any form
without written permission from the publisher, M. E. Sharpe, Inc.,
80 Business Park Drive, Armonk, New York 10504.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Russia's policy challenges: security, stability, and development I
(edited) by Stephen K. Wegren.
p. em.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-7656-1079-5 (alk. paper)-ISBN 0-7656- 1080-9 (pbk.: alk. paper)
I. Russia (Federation)-Politics and government-1991-2. National security-
Russia (Federation) 3. Russia (Federation)-Social policy. 4. Russia (Federation)-
Economic policy-1991- I. Title: Title on CIP data: Russia's policy changes. II. Wegren,
Stephen K., 1956-
JN6695 .R868 2003
320'.6'0947-dc2 1
Printed in the United States of America
The paper used in thi s publication meets the minimum requirements of
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6 5 4
6 5 4
This volume is dedicated to the next generation
of students, who hopefully will study Russia, understand its
problems and potential, and help it become a beller place to Ji vc.
For me it is important that the tendency toward renewal that has taken shape in Eastern and Western Europe
goes in the direction of rapprochement. The result will not be a copy of the Swedish, English, or Soviet model.
No. Something will turn out that will meet the demands of the cmrent stage of development of human and
European civilization.
I have just discovered that people have no fear of choosing between one system and another They
are searching for their own unique possibility, one that will provide them with the best standard of living.
When this search flows freely; then there is only one thing left to say: good luck.
Bush. I do not think that we differ on this. We approve of sell-determination and the debates that do along
with it. I want you to interpret our approach in a positive light: V\kstem values by no means signify the
intrusion of our system on Romania, Czechoslovakia, or even the GDR.
Gorbachev. That is very important for us. fundamental changes are happening, people are corning together
And that is the most important thing. I see that on Eastern European soiL ways of resolving problems that
involve a different system- in the field of economics, technology; etc. - are becoming established. That is
If we share a common understanding, then all our practical actions taken in the changing conditions
will be appropriate and will come to acquire a positive character
Baker. I would like to clarify our approach to self-determination: We agree that each country must have the
right to free elections. But all this makes sense only when the people in the country are really in the position
to choose freely This also falls into the concept of 'Western values", and by no means is it the right to thrust
one's ways on others.
Gorbachev. If someone is making a claim to the ultimate truth - they can expect disaster
Bush. Absolutely right.
Baker. That is not exactly what I meant. Take, for example, the question of reunification of Germany; which
is making both you and us nervous, as well as many Europeans. What are we advocating here? For the
reunification to happen on the principles of openness, pluralism, and a free market. By no means do we want
the reunification of Germany to reproduce the model of 1937-1945, which, evidently; is something that worries
you. Germany of that time had nothing in common with Western values.
Gorbachev. A. H. Yakovlev is inquiring: why are democracy; openness, the market- 'Western values?'
Bush. It was not always that way You personally created a start for these changes directed toward democracy
and openness. Today it is really much clearer than it was, say; 20 years ago, that we share these values with
Gorbacbev. There is no point in entering into propagandistic battles.
Yakovfev. When you insist on 'Western values," then "Eastern values" unavoidably appear, and ''Southern
values" ...
Gorbacbev. Exactly, and when that happens, ideological confrontations flare up again.
Gorbachev. I am convinced: we can work together successfully even he re. If the USSR and the US begin to
reduce their chemical arsenals gradually, this will give us the moral right to persuade others even more
strongly of the need for nonproliferation of chemical weapons ...
Bush I fully agree with these views.
Gorbachev. When I meet with political leaders from Eastern as well as from Vkstem Europe, I tell them all
that this is an objective process, which brings together countries across the continent. They are now looking
for optimal variants for combining economics, technology; and various standards ...
What is the essence of this essentially consensus-based approach? We are convinced that we must
work toward continuing and developing the Helsinki process, and by no means toward destroying what was
created on the basis of it. After this, Helsinki II will be needed so that we can interpret the new situation and
work out joint criteria and frameworks. It is understood that all countries that signed the Helsinki Act,
including of course, the US and Canada, must take part in this meeting.
Another important question- what to do with institutions created in another age? 'This also demands
a balanced and responsible approach. Otherwise the current positive direction of the process of change
might tum into its opposite, lead to an undermining of stability. Existing instruments for supporting the
balance must not be shattered, but modified in accordance with the demands of the age. They must be
utilized to strengthen security and stability and improve relations between states. Let Nffi'O and the Warsaw
Treaty Orga.rrization become even to a greater degree political, but not only as military orga.rrizations, and let
there be a change in their confrontational nature. It is good that our generals have aheady begun to grasp
the spirit of the time, to visit each other; and to discuss the most complex questions.
I am certain that there are good prospects for cooperation in the Council for Mutual Economic
Assistance [SEV]. In the CrviEC we are planning complex measures to ease entry into the structure of the
world economy
Our members of parliament are aheady cooperating- and are not doing a bad job-, a "people's
diplomacy" is developing. Such a comprehensive, positive atmosphere will secure all of us from unexpected
and unpleasant surprises in the future.
I am under the impression that US leaders are now quite actively advancing the idea of having
conquered the division of Europe on the basis of 'Western values." If this premise is not solely for propaganda
purposes, and they are intending to make it a basis for a practical policy; then I will say bluntly that they are
committing many follies. At one time in the West there was anxiety that the Soviet Union was planning to
export revolution. But the aim of exporting 'Western values" sounds similat
I would put it this way: the times are now very complex and therefore particularly crucial. The fact
that Eastern Europe is changing in the direction of greater openness, democracy; and rapprochement to
general human values, creating mechanisms for compatibility and world economic progress, all this opens
unprecedented possibilities for stepping into a new level of relations. A step using peaceful, cahn means.
Here it is very dangerous to force artificially or to push the processes taking place, all the more so for the
purpose of satisfying some one-sided interests.
Possibilities for European integration in cultural and political spheres can be most varied, including
those never before experienced. And this will not place painlessly In some locations the situation will even
take on a critical character. And this is natural, for there are immense and varied social forces being drawn
into the events.
I can make this judgment at least about the Soviet Union. Our country is a genuine conglomerate of
peoples. They have various traditions and historical features of development. We are now fiercely
Bush That is an excellent idea. But allow me to add a few words. I am very pleased with the cooperation
between our diplomatic departments, in the military as well as in other areas. I believe that the channels for
discussion of military-political problems now integrally supplement the contacts laid by Akhromeev and
Crowe. Meetings between military specialists help the matter greatly; and I hope that we will continue to
develop this practice.
Gorixlchev. That is exactly what we intend to do.
Bush. I will say frankly: our military has immense influence in NATO. I have just asked them to do an analysis
of military expenditures of US and the West combined. And to present their recommendations. I think that
in this crucial period, contacts between our military leaders are particularly significant.
Gorbachev. So we will have them meet more often. Would you like to go first in discussing European issues?
Bush. You are closer to Europe, but I would like to preface our conversation with a few comments.
Frrst of all, I admit that we were shocked by the swiftness of the changes that unfolded. We highly
regarded your personal reaction and the reaction of the Soviet Union as a whole to these dynamic and at the
same time hmdarnental changes.
Although we did not go into details, during yesterday's conversation we discussed eye-to-eye the
problem of reunification of Germany. I hope that you understand that you cannot expect us not to approve
of German reunification. At the same time, we realize the extent to which this is a delicate, sensitive issue.
We are trying to act with a certain reserve. I will phrase this thought a little dilierently: There is no desire on
my part, nor among representatives of my administration, to be in a position that would appear so
provocational. I emphasize that point.
Another example of our policy with respect to Eastern Europe. We sent a high-level delegation to
Poland. It included my senior economic advisers, other representatives of the administration, business
people, union leaders, etc. They went there not to create difficulties but to explain to the Fbles which
mechanisms in our opinion, are effeCtive in the economic sphere.
I will not elaborate on each Eastern European country but will stress the thought that we understand
very well the meaning of the section of the Helsinki Act on national boundaries in Europe.
It stands to reason that I am ready to answer any of your questions. Fersonally I am most interested
in how you view the possibility of moving beyond the limits of the status quo.
Gorbachev. I do not agree that we are "closer to Europe." The USSR and the U.S. are equally integrated into
European problems. We understand very well your involvement in Europe. To look at the role of the US in the
Old World any differently is unrealistic, erroneous, and ultimately unconstructive. You must lmow this, it is
our basic position.
Bush. That is not exactly what I meant: I just meant that historically we were not as close to Eastern Europe.
Of course we are close- and will be close - to Europe, we are vitally interested and involved in NATO. The
US is, properly speaking, the leader of NATO.
I want to emphasize apart from this that you are catalyzing changes in Europe in a constructive way.
The next question of principle. To some degree we have touched on this already; when we looked
at the dynamic of the negotiation process. Howeve1; I want to return to this problem and single out one very
important point.
You and I have admitted that as a result of the arms race there arose truly unimaginable military
power on both sides. We came to the same decision that such a situation is fraught with catastrophe. An
extremely important negotiation process was initiated, at the forefront of which arose questions about the
reduction of nuclear weapons.
Bush Excuse me for interrupting you, but I would like in this context to thank you for the deeply symbolic
gift which you sent to me through Ambassador Dobrynin- a memento made out of disassembled missiles.
Gorixlchev. Yes. The treaty on shorter-range and intermediate-range missiles [RMSD] became a historic
Generally speaking, the prospects opening up are not bad, and your comments yesterday convinced
me that a hopeful basis for further progress has been established.
But what worries us? Up to now; the negotiations have left out one of the three fundamental
components of military power- navy forces. Both the previous and the current administration react very
emotionally whenever this question is raised. Meanwhile, there has been no infringement on American
security. I want with full responsibility to announce that we are taking into account the interests of the US
Your country is a sea power, with vitally important communications conveyed along seas and oceans.
Building up the navy [VMS]- for us this is both a historical tradition, and a whole system in science and
industry, deeply built in to economic interests. For that reason changing the approach here is not so easy; We
understand this well, since we ourselves are experiencing similar difficulties in other areas of military build-
But what comes of this? As early as the beginning of the 1950s we literally encircled a network of
military bases. On them were more than 500,CXXJ people, hundreds of fighter planes, powerful navy forces.
The US has 15 carrier forces, approximately 1.500 fighter planes. And what immense forces are already
deployed on our shores, or could be deployed at any moment. I am not even speaking about strategic
submarines- even if they fall under the negotiations on [Russian acronym: IaVK]. As a result of the VIenna
talks the level of military confrontation on land will be substantially lowered.
As I have already said, there are good prospects for concluding a treaty on the reduction of strategic offensive
weapons [SNV]. Under these circumstances we have a right to expect that the threat to the Soviet Union from
the sea will also be diminished.
Our ministers have already talked about this. I am taking the initiative upon myself and am officially
raising the issue of starting negotiations on the problem of the navy (VMS]. How to begin them- here we are
prepared to be flexible. Let it be in the beginning measures of trust, then a general reduction in the scale of
navy activity. Then, when the situation becomes clear at the same time in Geneva and in Vienna, the time
will come to deal in earnest with the question of reducing naval forces [VMS].
I will say in advance that we are adopting a realistic position In particulai; we are aware that the US
has other problems aside from Soviet military forces. But I would still like to stress once again with total
certainty: just as European security is important to the US and its allies, we are interested in security of the
seas and oceans.
Now; after delineating some of our fundamental approaches I would like to comment on specific
negotiation points. Since we agreed in advance not to get carried away in details, I will, as you did yesterday.
limit myself to the main issues.
Bush The issue of nonproWeration of chemical weapons is also highly critical. I hope that our experts will
touch on this subject.
Goroochev. I agree.
Now on the Vienna negotiations and the reduction of conventional arms in Europe. You came out in
favor of concluding an agreement on this most important issue in l99J and on its signing at the highest level.
Our approaches here coincided. We are ready for active and constructive cooperation to attain this goal. There
are difficulties, of course. But I will not elaborate on details.
About the negotiations for limiting strategic weapons. Here political will is needed give impetus to
work being done. I listened to you attentively; and you emphasized some of the elements. But, unfortunately;
I did not hear mention of the problem of sea-based cruise missiles.
Now the climate is favorable for preparing the draft treaty on reduction of strategic offensive weapons
for signature by our meeting next year. And if by this time a solution to the problem of sea-based cruise
missiles has not been found, then a serious difficulty will arise. Here you are at a great advantage. The
American side must consider this question again in the context I mentioned.
Bush That is a problem.
Goroochev. We are not trying to achieve mirror-like symmetry. Each side has a choioe, there is the situation
of the country to consider, the different structures of the armed forCes.
But in working toward reduction of strategic offensive weapons, it is impossible to ignore sea-based
cruise missiles [KRMB]. The US has a serious advantage in this area. Put yourselves in our position. Our
Supreme Soviet will not agree to the ratification of a treaty if it avoids the problem of sea-based cruise missiles
I highly welcome your proposals on ecology You can expect our experts to take an active part in the
conferenoe on ecological issues planned by the White House.
I am glad that you touched on the question of increasing student exchanges. We began this gcxx:l
work during Reagan's presidency. For young people it is easier to find a common language. And I am sure
that they will make a contribution toward the positive development of Soviet-American relations.
In summary, I would like onoe again to emphasize that I am happy with the steps that you outlined
here. Soviet-American dialo:::I is gaining a certain momentum. And to give it new breath, new efforts and
new steps will be necessary. ..
['Ibe discussion continued on December 3, 1989.]
Gorbacbev. ... I will start off by saying: we are pleased with the work done yesterday; but I believe that there
is a possibility for advancing even further If you do not object, I would like to start first. Nevertheless, today
- I am your guest...
Bush. I like "my ship" very much.
Seriously, we would like to express deep gratitude for the exoellent opportunity extended to our
delegation to work on the Soviet liner Although the press is putting pressure on me right now; bombarding
me with questions about our shortening the talks yesterday; I believe the changes in the program
substantially affected the content of our discussion. FOr my part, I consider our discussion to have been very
nice and productive. Actually; we essentially continued the talks at breakfast.
Gorbacbev. Yes, we made a calculation and it turns out that the discussions lasted over five hours.
All these, I repeat. are major factors in the regrouping of forces in the world. I am watching political
developments in India- these politics are dynamic. I have spoken at length with Rajiv Gandhi. India has a
balanced approach aimed at establishing good relations both with us and with you.
What role do we play in this regrouping? Very serious things follow from this. I began discussing
this question with Schultz. After one of the discussions he showed us some diagrams reflecting changes that
will occur at the end of the oenhuy in economic relations between the leading countries of the world. And
now it is simply essential to understand the role of the USSR and the US in these major changes. They cannot
always follow with a peaceful flow of events.
Take Eastern Europe. Its specific share in the world economy is not very large. And look at how
nervous we are. What form of action should we take, collective action?
And what lies ahead in terms of economics, ecology, and other problems? We must think about this
together, too.
For a long time Soviet leadership has pondered this. And we are coming to the conclusion that the
U.S. and the USSR are simply "doomed" to dialogue, joint action, and cooperation. It cannot be otherwise.
But for this to happen we must stop viewing each other as enemies. There is a lot of this in our heads.
And we must take care not to look at our relations solely from a military standpoint.
All this means that we are suggesting a Soviet-American cooperative. This is about realities. And
this in no way puts into question allied relations, or cooperation that has built up with other countries. We
need to understand all this. I do not think that this was there before. We have just now entered into the prooess
of mutual understanding.
We asked the question: what kind of Soviet Union is in the US interest- the dynamic, stable, solid
one or the one struggling with all kinds of problems? I am informed about the advioe you have been
A far as we are concerned, we are interested in a US that feels confident in the decisions it makes
on national security and progress. This thought is present in all discussions with my Vkstem partners. And
there have been hundreds of such meetings. I believe that any other approach is dangerous. Ignoring
domestic political prooesses, unwillingness to take into account the practical interests of the US in the world
- that is a dangerous policy.
And the US must take into account the interests of other countries. Meanwhile there is still a desire
to teach. oppress, and step on throats. It is still there. We all know this. Therefore I would like to hear your
opinion on this. For the question is how to build a bridge between our countries: across a river or down a riveL
Since there is much time remaining in the President's leadership of a country such as the US, this
point must be made clear. I think that we will not achieve this in just one meeting. But the main issues must
be sorted out. I repeat: we need clarity. All the rest- is concrete detaiL specifics that in the final analysis are
integrally linked to mutual understanding on these basic problems .. .
Bush. I hope you noticed that while the changes in Eastern Europe have been going on, the United States
has not engaged in condescending statements aimed at damaging the Soviet Union. At the same time, there
are people in the United States who accuse me of being too cautious. It is true, I am a cautious man, but I am
not a coward, and my administration will seek to avoid doing anything that would damage your position in
the world. But I was insistently advised to something of that sort- to climb the Berlin Wall and to make broad
declarations. My administration, however, is avoiding these steps, we are in favor of reserved behavior.
Gorbachev. ... I want to reply to the views you expressed in the beginning of the discussion. I welcome your
words. I regard them as a manifestation of political will. This is important to me.
Bush. We would like to raise the question of whether it would be possible for the Soviet Union to publish
roughly the same amount of data on the Soviet military budget as we do in the United States. I think that
our publications give quite a comprehensive idea of the kind of military activity undertaken in our country
am sure that your intelligence services can confirm this authoritatively.
GJrbachev. They report to me, on the contrary, that you do not publish everything.
Bush. I am certain that the publication of more detailed data on military budgets, on a mutual basis, would
encourage trust in this sphere.
I would like to touch on a few questions which are important for the future ...
Particularly critical at the present time are problems of environmental protection We are now forced
to take into account even the economic consequences of global climate changes. Some Western countries
are going so far as to drastically curtail even essential economic activity for the sake of averting these changes.
We are trying to approach these issues rationally; to avoid extremes. At the present time, the USSR
and the US are working actively on a committee preparing an international conference on climate under the
aegis of the UN This is bringing satisfactory results. Looking ahead, we are planning two more important
steps in this direction. Hrst. after the committee work is finished by autumn of next we intend to host a
conference to draw up a limited treaty on climate change.
Environmental protection demands the attention of leading scientists. I have asked the White House
Assistant for Science [and Technology] Director [B]romley to organize a conference for next spring on ecology;
to bring together the finest scientific minds as well as leaders of appropriate departments from many
countries. I hope that Soviet representatives will also attend this forum.
The development of cooperation between our countries depends largely on the participation of
young people in this process. Here student exchanges are intended to play a great role. We suggest making
arrangements so that in the school year this type of exchange could be increased to approximately
l CXX) persons from each side. The expanded program would involve young people up to 25 years of age. In
addition, special attention should be paid to student exchanges in the humanities and sociology. The
practical experience would be very productive with respect to agricultural studies programs.
God:Jachev. Thank you for sharing these interesting ideas. This is possibly the best proof of the fact that
President Bush's administration has set its political focus on Soviet-American lines. I intend to touch on some
specific issues a little latet
Now I would like to express my observations of a general philosophical nature. It seems very
important to me that we talk about the conclusions we can reach from our past experience, from the 'Cold
War." What took place, what will linger in history. Such. if you wish, is the advantage of the historical process.
But trying to analyze the course of past events is our primary obligation. Why is this necessary? Probably we
can assert that we all lived through a historic turning point. Entirely new problems, of which people in the
past could not even conceive, arose before mankind. And so- are we going to resolve them using old
approaches? Absolutely nothing would come of that.
By no means is everything that has happened to be considered in a negative light. FOr 45 years we
have succeeded in preventing a major war. This fact alone shows that in the past all was not bad. But all the
same, the conclusion is obvious- the emphasis on force, on military superiority; and along with it the arms
race, has not justified itself. Both our countries apparently understand this better than any others.
The emphasis on ideological confrontation did not justify itself either. and resulted only in our
continual criticism of each other. We reached a dangerous line. And it is good that we knew enough to stop.
It is good that a mutual understanding has arisen between our countries.
' t
[ !

, I
Bush Yes, that's right. We have already had productive discussions. I would like, if you will permit me, to
outline some of the thoughts of the American side.
I fully agree with what you have stated regarding the importance of our meeting on Malta. I was prepared to
make similar points. Therefore I will not repeat them.
Concerning our attitude toward perestroika. I would like to say in no uncertain terms that I agree completely
with what you said in New York: the world will be better if perestroika ends in success. Not long ago there
were many people in the US who doubted this. At. that time you said in New York that there were elements
that did not wish for the success of perestroika I cannot say that there are no such elements in the US But I
can say with full certainty that serious, thinking people in the United States do not share these opinions.
These shifts in the public mood in the United States are affected by the changes in Eastern Europe,
by the whole process of perestroika. Of course, among analysts and experts there are differing points of view.
But you can be certain that you are dealing with an administration in the US, and with a Congress, that wish
for the crowning success of your reforms.
I would like now to offer a number of positive steps which, in our opinion, might provide a general
direction for our joint task of preparing an official summit in the United States.
A few oomments ooncerning economic issues. I want to inform you that my administration intends
to take measures toward suspending the Jackson-Vanik amendment which prevents the granting of most
favored nation status to the Soviet Union ...
I also want to inform you that the administration has taken the policy to repeal the Stevenson and
Baird amendments which restrict the possibility of extending credit to the Soviet side ...
These measures, which the administration is now proposing in the realm of Soviet-American
relations, are guided by a certain spirit: they are not at all directed toward the demonstration of American
superiority. And in this sense, as we understand it, they are in line with your approach. As it stands to reason,
we in the US are deeply oonvinced of the advantages of our type of economy. But that is not the issue right
now. We have attempted to oonstruct our proposals in a way that does not give the impression that America
is "saving" the Soviet Union. We are not talking about a plan of assistance, but about a plan for oooperation.
After the Jackson-Vanik Amendment is repealed, oonditions will be favorable for eliminating
restrictions on granting credit. The American administration considers this a question not of granting
assistance, but of creating the oonditions for the development of effective oooperation on economic issues.
We plan to convey our oonsiderations on this issue to the Soviet side in the form of a document. It involves a
number of serious plans in the areas of finance, statistics, market function, etc ....
I would like to say a few words to clarify our position with respect to the wishes of the Soviet side to
gain observer status in GATI. There used to be a division of opinion among us on this issue- the US was
against admitting the USSR into this 01ganization. Now the position has been reexamined. We are for
granting the Soviet side observer status in GATI. This is based on the view that participation of the USSR in
GATI will be oonducive toward its becoming familiar with oonditions, operation, and development of the
world market...
There is one other area in which new approaches can be used to develop economic oooperation. I
have in mind the establishment of contact with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development. This would provide a good framework for oooperation on economic issues between East and
West. The administration is in favor of active progress in this direction ...
[Bush moved on to discuss regional issues, and stated the US position with regard to the situation in Central
America. Then he proposed that they discuss the issue of disarman1ent.]
! '
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The President then said tha.t either Mr. Khrushchev did not believe tha.t the US was serious or the situation
in tha.t area was so unsatisfactory to the Soviet Union tha.t it had to take this drastic action The President
referred to his forthcoming meeting with Macmillan and said the latter would ask what had happened. The
President said tha.t he would have to say tha.t he had gained the impression tha.t the USSR was presenting
him with the alternative of accepting the Soviet act on Berlin or having a face to face confrontation. He had
come here to prevent a confrontation between our two countries and he regretted to leave Vienna with the
Mr. Khrushchev replied tha.t in order to save prestige we could agree tha.t token contingents of troops,
including Soviet troops, could be maintained in East Berlin. However; this would be not on the basis of some
occupa.tion rights, but on the basis of an agreement registered with the UN. Of course, access would be
subject to GDR's control because this is its prerogative. Mr. Khrushchev continued by saying tha.t he wanted
peace and that if the US wanted war, tha.t was its problem It is not the USSR that threatens war; it is the US.
The President stressed tha.t it was the Chainnan, not he, who wanted to force a change.
Mr. Khrushchev replied tha.t a peace treaty would not involve any change in boundaries. In any event the
USSR will have no choice other than to accept the challenge; it must respond and it will respond. The
calamities of a war will be shared equally. War will take place only if the US imposes it on the USSR. It is up
to the US to decide whether there will be war or peace. This, he said, can be told Macmillan, DeGaulle and
Adenauei: The decision to sign a peace treaty is finn and irrevocable and the Soviet Union will sign it in
December if the US refuses an interim agreement.
The President concluded the conversation by observing tha.t it would be a cold wintei:
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