MOSCOW — The Soviet Union, departing from its longstanding policy, on Friday agreed with leading Western businessmen to study prospects for joint industrial ventures between Western and Soviet enterprises.
The International Chamber of Commerce, a Paris-based non-governmental business group, decided with Soviet officials to examine the legal and organizational framework under which joint projects could be set up.
Moscow has long avoided such ventures, questioning whether they could guarantee access to foreign markets and suspecting that Western governments might seek extraterritorial rights in the Soviet Union through the Western firms.
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But a steep fall in Soviet foreign exchange earnings this year, caused mainly by the collapse in oil prices, has made it more expensive to buy equipment directly from the West and has accordingly raised Soviet interest in joint ventures.