Soviet Reforms Gain Backing, But No Specific Aid

October 14, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The Soviet Union enlisted further Western support for efforts to reform its political and economic structures Sunday without obtaining specific financial aid from the world's richest industrial nations.

The finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven industrial democracies agreed to send their deputies to Moscow to discuss concrete approaches to the economic and, ultimately, political problems facing the Soviet Union.

The G-7 countries agreed that the meeting with senior Soviet economic and political leaders was a "unique opportunity for a direct exchange . . . on the Soviet economic situation and the status of their reform efforts."

In a communique distributed after the meeting, the seven nations strongly endorsed Soviet intentions to maintain creditworthiness.

The G-7 nations agreed that the economic and financial data from Moscow remained incomplete, but there was general agreement that the Soviet delegation had laid all the facts known to it on the table.

Widespread G-7 agreement on technical and humanitarian aid, however, was offset by uncertainty over the Soviet Union's need for injections of liquidity, or rescheduling of its debts.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady and Japanese Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto left the door open yesterday for the possibility that the G-7 nations would provide some form of liquidity aid to the Soviet Union.

Mr. Brady said that although there was no "agreement in principle" among the G-7 members to provide such aid, "that doesn't mean there won't be."

The Soviet delegation had not sought a financial aid package, Mr. Brady said, and no emergency humanitarian aid was discussed.

Mr. Hashimoto also refused to rule out G-7 help 7 for Soviet short-term liquidity problems.

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