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P.M. BRIEFING : Soviets Defend Trade Alliance

January 08, 1990| From Times Wire Services

MOSCOW — Parts of Comecon are obsolete and need radical changes, but the Soviet Union opposes disbanding the East Bloc trade alliance as some nations have suggested, a Soviet spokesman said today.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady I. Gerasimov indicated what the Soviet response will be to appeals by Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland for a major overhaul of Comecon when it meets Tuesday.

Gerasimov blamed poor implementation of good past decisions for many of Comecon's woes.

"There is no dynamism. There is no sign of improvement in the trade structure. There is no technological progress," he said. "And so we believe there must be radical measures to restructure the mechanism of cooperation."

But, he added, "As far as the direct answer to whether we need Comecon or not, yes, we need it," Gerasimov said.

Czechoslovak Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus said Thursday there was no reason for Comecon to exist.

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