June 4, 1991 |
President Bush on Monday took the first in a planned series of steps to extend aid to the Soviet Union's economic reform program as Administration officials tried to clear away obstacles to a possible summit meeting in Moscow later this month. Bush's first step was symbolically large but limited in practical impact--waiving for another year the restrictions of the so-called Jackson-Vanik Amendment that bars the Soviets from participating in U.S. export subsidy programs.
May 24, 1991 |
By now, Lena will have waited in line all night outside the bank on Leningradsky Prospekt and knows whether she can change her near-worthless rubles for dollars in time for her train to Helsinki this evening. On Thursday afternoon, she was still wondering whether she would have to turn in her ticket, pay a penalty and buy a new ticket for a later date, putting off her trip until she could pocket the measly $200 the state will exchange for her.
May 21, 1991 |
In a landmark decision, Soviet lawmakers Monday approved a law giving virtually all citizens the right to travel abroad freely. The measure, meant to tear away what remains of the Iron Curtain, had been bogged down since late 1989, blocked largely by government fears of an uncontrollable outflow of emigrants and would-be migrant workers. Even now, its target date for full implementation is not until January, 1993.
May 17, 1991 |
After weeks of delay, Mikhail S. Gorbachev launched his new "anti-crisis" program on Thursday with a presidential decree banning strikes in the Soviet Union's most crucial industries and offering plump incentives to their workers in an effort to shore up the collapsing economy at its base.
May 14, 1991 |
Despite pleas by Mikhail S. Gorbachev's government, the national legislature failed to muster enough votes to pass a bill liberalizing travel and emigration by Soviet citizens. A deputy prime minister, Stepan Sitarian, tried to refute arguments that the bill would force the government to spend more money on passports and means of travel. "We need to fix the highways anyway, even if the law is not adopted," he said.
May 11, 1991 |
Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander A. Bessmertnykh, in a historic visit to Israel, said Friday that the prospects for peace in the Middle East are "quite substantial" and indicated that Moscow would not attempt to pressure Israel by limiting the emigration of Soviet Jews.
May 8, 1991 |
The long-awaited draft law that would open Soviet borders to free emigration finally came back onto the floor of the national legislature Tuesday, but the debate showed that the domestic opposition that kept it languishing in committee for a year and a half remains potent.
April 28, 1991 |
Israel's chief immigration agency has sharply lowered its estimates of new Soviet arrivals this year and blamed the expected shortfall on insufficient job opportunities and botched planning by the government. More than 300,000 Jewish immigrants had been expected to arrive in 1991, but the Jewish Agency, the quasi-governmental body that arranges travel for the newcomers, scaled down the expectation to about 200,000.
April 19, 1991 |
Nearly half a million people left the Soviet Union last year, shattering previous records, with more than 90% of them going to Israel or Germany, the Interior Ministry said. The government said 452,000 people left the country, including 271,000 Jews bound for Israel. An additional 141,000 chose to move to Germany, many of them ethnic Germans whose families had been displaced by dictator Josef Stalin. Only 2.9% of the emigres, or 13,100, went to the United States.
April 8, 1991 |
The phrase wasn't included in her intensive Hebrew lessons, but Larissa, a new Soviet immigrant, picked it up quickly from the street, where she heard it when looking for a job: Al titkasher eliy anee heetkasher eleha. Don't call me, I'll call you. After more than a year of on-rushing immigration from the Soviet Union, new arrivals are having a hard time finding jobs and houses, and government programs to ease the strain seem to be hamstrung by political infighting.