“German money for Soviet "Perestroika"”. Lecture by Boris Khavkin
On December 11, 2019, within the framework of the seminar "West and East: Universalism of Culture", a lecture was given by professor at RSUH B. L. Khavkin
Professor Khavkin spoke about an attempt in 1989 in Germany to provide financial assistance to the USSR.
In October 1989, representatives of the business community of Western Germany Wolfgang Seifert and Peter Daublebsky developed a scenario for overcoming the split of Europe and reuniting Germany with the help of the USSR. Behind this scenario were the leaders of the Federal Republic of Germany’s nuclear, machine-building, automotive, chemical and light industries - Siemens, Hoechst, Krupp, Daimler-Benz, who were economically interested in the success of the “perestroika” in the USSR, the modernization of the Soviet Union industry and creating a capacious market for products from West Germany. It was a probe for the Kremlin’s reaction; The political and government circles of Germany were not yet involved in that plan. The document was addressed to M.S. Gorbachev and through intermediaries of professor V.I. Dashichev and academician O.T. Bogomolova was transferred to the Soviet leader.
Large West German firms offered to pay the Soviet Union, which was in a poor economic situation, 500 billion marks of Germany free of charge and to provide the USSR with a loan in the amount of 1 trillion. 250 billion marks of Germany for a period of 15 years. Note that 1 trillion. 250 billion marks of Germany accounted for about 30% of the gross national product of the USSR. The condition for this colossal financial assistance was the continuation of the policy of "perestroika" in the USSR - the democratization of the socio-political system of the Soviet Union, the constructive position of the Kremlin on the unification of Germany and the wide opening of the Soviet domestic market for German firms willing to invest in "Perestroika".
Given the economic difficulties of that time, the exposure of the domestic market and the growing disintegration tendencies, this kind of “Marshall Plan” would have been very useful for the Soviet Union. But the business plan of Germany was ignored by M.S. Gorbachev.
A unique opportunity for the USSR to receive assistance from business circles of Germany on favorable conditions was missed. As a result, under an agreement with the Soviet Union in 1990, West Germans spent only 15 billion marks on German unity, and in 1991 the USSR ceased to exist.
In the near future, a video of the lecture will be on our website.