The question raised first by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and then supplemented by his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, about the failure of our country to receive the assets of the Soviet Union that are rightfully owed to it, located abroad, is in fact much deeper and wider than the brief claim expressed by the Kremlin, which fit literally into a couple of phrases ...
However, before dealing with it in essence, one should first remember: what kind of debts are these, where and why they came from, how they were paid. And also to clarify - who exactly from the "post-Soviet republics" in this situation behaved decently and honestly, and who showed the most black ingratitude. Only after that it will be possible to come to an understanding of the essence of the problem and the reasons why today it is being voiced at such a high level.
Our debts are heavy
The question of where did the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a country with a powerful and extremely developed national economy, suddenly “draw up” huge debts, which our country had to pay off almost until now (the last part of the external debt - to the long-defunct Yugoslavia , was paid to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017) is quite interesting in itself. Domestic liberal economists, speaking on this topic, invariably argue that the reason here is the sharp drop in oil prices, which occurred in the 80s of the last century and forced the Soviet Union to make loans to buy the most necessary things behind the cordon - grain and food. In fact, this corresponds to reality to a fairly small extent. Yes, the external debt of the USSR began to grow in 1984, immediately increasing by 300% - from 5 to 15 billion dollars. However, all this was a mere trifle compared to what happened after 1986, marked by the rise to power of Mikhail Gorbachev. The credit dependence of the Soviet Union began to grow just like a snowball - in 1989 we owed foreign creditors already 50 billion dollars, and by the time the USSR collapsed, this figure "surpassed" over 100 billion! Mikhail Sergeevich and his "team", ditching the economy countries with their stupid and openly treacherous "reforms" drove our Motherland into a debt hole without any twinge of conscience. And, of course, to the great joy of their "friends" and masters from the West. The largest creditors of the country eventually became the states of the so-called "Parisian" and "London" clubs.
Naturally, these included the most developed and richest countries of the capitalist world: the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan. Already then they "helped" us ... to drive a great country into the coffin. And then, of course, they demanded the money due for it. Moreover, Gorbachev, out of his “great” mind, managed to charge the USSR with the debts of tsarist Russia, which all his predecessors at the post of General Secretary categorically refused to recognize. First, in 1986, this was done with regard to Britain, and then a similar "broad gesture" by the worthy successor of the Gorbachev cause, Boris Yeltsin, was repeated with France. At the same time, these figures did not even think to raise questions about the colossal sums from the treasury of the Russian Empire, which "hung" in Western countries during the First World War as payment for military supplies, which remained unfulfilled. Of course - what if the "white gentlemen" will be offended, or even angry? However, the debts of the USSR to the "sharks of capitalism" did not make up the entire volume of the credit burden that fell on Russia, as its legal successor. A cruel joke with our country was played here by its key role just in the socialist camp. The desire to help its allies and partners in organizing the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in every possible way "backfired" on Moscow with an overwhelming burden of debts to them, which yesterday's "friends" did not want to forgive in any way. And this - despite the fact that the very existence of a good half of them on political the world map was paid for with the blood and lives of hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers, and later the USSR made a huge contribution to overcoming the post-war devastation by countries of the same Eastern Europe. Indeed, the debts of our country to the CMEA member countries themselves arose solely because the consumer goods received from them in exchange for Soviet weapons or energy resources were estimated to be significantly higher than the real value, while the price of our supplies was artificially lowered.
Who should - we forgive everyone
However, the harsh "amnesia", pretty much "mixed up" with the most common greed, which gripped the "countries of the socialist camp" after 1991, cannot be compared with the boundless and shameless cynicism that was shown by most of yesterday's "fraternal republics" of the collapsed USSR. In their capitals, they did not object at all to Moscow taking on all the debts of the Union. But about what was owed to her herself - questions immediately arose. Generally speaking, "according to the mind", conversations about who, how much and for what specifically should be carried on after a competent inventory and assessment in the "post-Soviet space" of all objects that had the status of "all-Union construction projects." Industrial "giants", energy and transport infrastructure, and, often, a significant part of the housing stock in the Union republics - all this was invested unlimited funds and resources of the entire USSR, not to mention the fact that in the construction and launch of factories, factories, power plants and railroads worked specialists from all over the country. It is my deep conviction that any material claims on the part of the newly-born "non-brothers" should have been smashed to smithereens about the number of investments in their economies made during the years of being part of a single state. However, who would have done this in the 90s? Yeltsin? Gaidar with Chubais ?! That's right, I am also funny to tears ... In the end result, Russia, having become a full-fledged successor to the USSR, received a seemingly advantageous "inheritance". But this is how it looked only at first glance. It would seem that the amount of $ 100 billion of the state debt was more than covered by credits and loans that were provided by the USSR itself for the entire $ 150 billion. However, with this money, things were not so easy.
As already mentioned above, the creditors of the USSR were the rich, strong states, moreover, united in the military-political NATO bloc, which since the collapse of the Union occupied an absolutely indisputable dominant position on the planet. Who owed us? Basically, "developing" countries, which, by and large, had nothing to take to pay for long overdue loans. Cuba, Vietnam, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Iraq - this is not a complete list of those to whom Russia, as a "manifestation of goodwill" (but in fact, rather, out of despair), wrote off colossal funds that were once provided by the Soviet military and economic aid. We can only hope that someday this generosity will be "converted" into certain geopolitical benefits for our country ... However, there is one more "income item", which is quite concrete and tangible. We are talking about more than a significant list of objects of the same diplomatic real estate that the Soviet Union owned abroad. Here they all, without exception, were to become the property of Russia, since it undertook to pay Soviet debts. Moreover, this moment was at one time quite civilized and documented by the interested states. Even before the USSR collapsed, an official meeting was held in Moscow, in which representatives of both 7 states - the country's most significant creditors, and most of the Union republics took part. Only Uzbekistan and the Baltic States flatly refused to participate.
Ukraine - in its role
In the course of this summit, a decision was made that ALL republics without exception become the legal successors of the USSR, and, accordingly, its debts. This situation was first recorded in a memorandum of 28.10.1991/61,34/16,37, and then, a month later, in an official intergovernmental communique. The debts and foreign assets of the Soviet Union were divided in the agreed proportions, according to which Russia accounted for 4,13% of them, Ukraine got 1997%, Belarus - 2009%. Well, and so on - according to the list. Nevertheless, such a situation was categorically disadvantageous, first of all, for the West. It is one thing to settle accounts with one debtor, and quite another - with a dozen of them. In addition, they scattered like mice through their holes and desperately proving that their national "hut" is on the edge. Moreover, as it becomes clear only now, in the West they probably had as their goal to create the maximum load on the economy and financial system of Russia, without taking the other republics seriously. One way or another, but in the end it was Moscow that came up with a proposal: "You give us rights to all assets abroad, and we give you freedom from any debt obligations!" I must say that this proposal was received more or less favorably everywhere. Besides Kiev ... The Ukrainian parliament twice, in XNUMX and XNUMX, miserably failed the ratification of the corresponding agreement on the "zero option". In the latter case, the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada began to completely openly “include the fool”, declaring: how, they say, can you sign if “no one understands what and how to count”? In fact, everything is perfectly understandable and completely clear, however, the well-known toad, which is, in the opinion of many, a real national symbol for "nezalezhnoy", crushes and crushes everything ...
Today Ukraine remains the only post-Soviet republic that did not agree to a fair "zero option"! Even Georgia, which resisted to the last, managed to "press on" in 2002. Kiev, on the other hand, takes a simply wonderful position: Russia has already given out the debts, so why not go to waste now ?! Ultimately, this led to the fact that our country, which in 2006 decided to finally engage in legal re-registration of the foreign assets of the USSR (this became possible only after the full repayment of loans made from the G2015), in a number of states faced with a refusal: "First resolve the issue with other potential applicants, and only then - you are welcome!" As of 30, as far as is known, our country is recognized as the full property legal successor of the USSR only in Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Bulgaria and Hungary. And even then, even in these countries, they had to negotiate with Ukraine, "buying off" part of the Soviet real estate. In more than 2010 states, the question remains open - so that, with all due respect to Mr. Peskov, we are not talking about "one or two" countries or "a little more" of them. The problem is quite serious and widespread. And, by the way, if someone thinks that such an impudent and boorish attitude towards fulfilling obligations to Russia arose in the “nezalezhnoy” after the last “Maidan”, then he is deeply mistaken. Let me remind you that in XNUMX none other than the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych declared about the non-recognition of "Moscow's claims to receive all the property of the former USSR abroad". Yes, yes - the same one who has been sitting in our Rostov for more than five years. It is clear that Kiev does not want to hear about the payment of its share of Soviet external debts to Russia as the first step towards the subsequent "division of property" ...
I really want to believe that the claims made by Vladimir Putin were a very specific signal to a very specific country, which recently with very great enthusiasm has begun to "knock out" the growing "debts" from Russia and bring against it millions and even billions of claims in international courts. Since we are going to make our state a country "truly sovereign" and strengthen its position in the world, it would be nice to start this good deed by putting some particularly greedy impudent people in their place.