A team of top Soviet economists and American scholars
met at Harvard this week to develop a joint plan that
includes a program to move the Soviet Union toward democracy
and a market economy and a program of substantial Western
Led by Professor Graham Allison and Grigory Yavlinsky,
deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation until
his resignation last November, the group met at the Kennedy
School of Government. Yavlinsky, principal author of the
Soviet Union's 500 Day Plan, also delivered a public address
Wednesday on the topic "Will the Soviet Union Survive?"
Allison said at a press conference at the Kennedy School
on Monday that the team was looking for aid on a "Marshall-Plan
scale," amounting to Western aid ranging from $15
billion to $30 billion a year for several years. "Right
now this is a learning moment in the Soviet Union,"
said Allison. "This is a window of opportunity that
may not always be open."
Allison described the effort as a "the Grand Bargain"
between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
"Simply put, our joint program consists of initiatives
the Soviet governments - the center and the republics
- would take to move rapidly to democracy and a free market
economy as the essential foundation of sustainable democracy,"
said Allison. "Simultaneously, there are actions
the U.S. and its allies would take to motivate, enable,
and facilitate these Soviet initiatives."
At the news conference, Yavlinksy said that President
Gorbachev. Russian President Yeltsin, President Nazerbazev
of Kazakhstan and others stressed upon his departure their
interest in and support for the joint effort. Participants
in the Yavlinsky and Allison groups are acting in a private
capacity. Allison and Yavlinsky met with leaders last
week in Moscow.
A forthcoming article in the June issue of Foreign Affairs
by Allison and Robert Blackwill, a faculty member at the
Kennedy School and former member of President Bush's National
Security Council, argues that the Soviet Union shares
with the U.S. a "fundamental common interest in avoiding
the violent disintegration of the Soviet Union" into
chaos and civil wars. "In fact, no single event in
postwar history would pose such high and uncontrollable
risks of nuclear war," they said.
"However, there is a program of action the Soviet
Union could undertake, with significant Western cooperation,
that could plausibly avoid this violent outcome and instead
effectively support the evolution of economic and political
democracy in the U.S.S.R.," they added.
The Yavlinsky team brought with it an initial draft of
its program for the Soviet Union, a version of which was
presented to Soviet President Gorbachev last week. Allison
has provided Yavlinsky's group with an outline of a program
for Western cooperation. This week the Joint Working Group
will examine each other's first drafts, focusing on the
concept with which Yavlinsky and Allison began: the strategic
interaction between the actions each government takes.
Allison and Yavlinsky will also present their proposals
to officials of the United States and other countries.
The Working Group is a project of the Strengthening Democratic
Institutions at the Kennedy School of Government, and
is funded by the Carnegie Corp. American members include
Kennedy School faculty member Robert Blackwill (who served
as President Bush's special assistant for the Soviet Union
and Western Europe until last September), M.I.T. Professor
Stanley Fischer (former chief economist for the World
Bank), and Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs (adviser to
Solidarity in Poland).