Soviet economic and technical cooperation with developing countries : the Turkish case
This is a study of Soviet relations with developing countries up to the mid-1980s. The focus of the research is on the Soviet development assistance programme, or 'economic and technical cooperation' as it is called in the Soviet Union. Cooperation has been used to build over 2,000 industrial and agricultural enterprises in over eighty countries. In most developing countries, economic and technical cooperation is the major form which the Soviet presence takes. The Soviet Union's main way of combating what it sees as the negative effects of trade, private investment and aid from the West is economic and technical cooperation. With the central belief that true political independence and the ability to overcome backwardness does not come while economic dependence still exists, the Soviet Union has sought to build up the economies of developing countries through economic and technical cooperation. The stated goals of this programme have been: to create and develop the economic, scientific and technical potential of the emerging nations, to expand equal and mutually beneficial relations on a stable and long-term basis, and to help the young countries to overcome backwardness and develop without any form of dependence, exploitation or interference in their internal affairs regardless of their social and state system. Soviet cooperation, it is claimed, offers a positive alternative to Western assistance because, unlike the West, the Soviet Union's goal is to increase the independence of developing countries. The intention of this study is to 'go inside' Soviet development cooperation and, with particular reference to one case, that of Turkey, to analyse and evaluate its actual performance. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Soviet assistance and why do developing countries choose cooperation with the Soviet Union instead of involvement with the West. Does Soviet development cooperation at the factory level match the claims that are made. What is the quality of Soviet economic and technical cooperation as it is judged within enterprises in which it is used. Is development cooperation extended without demanding in return economic, political or military concessions. Does the Soviet Union meet the needs of individual developing countries in terms of their own specified development goals. Or, as an external supplier of technological and economic resources, does it impose its own goals. Soviet cooperation is also compared to Western involvement. The issues addressed in this study are discussed in depth in the Soviet literature both at the theoretical level and at the policy level. The claims made in this literature are central to this research. A major aim is to test empirically explicit Soviet claims against actual practice. In addition to measuring Soviet behaviour against the standards set-out in the Soviet development literature, actual practice is also measured against: 1.) the demands of the South as expressed in the UN Code of Conduct on the Transfer of Technology, 2.) the development objectives of the case study country, and 3.) 'sound' practice as discussed in the Western technology and development literature.