Soviet Union

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington 12:00 am, 4th March 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to visit the former Soviet Union to discuss matters relating to technology transfer and aid for the republics.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State visited Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine in January and discussed such question then. I visited St. Petersburg also in January.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

Does the Minister believe that a vitally important stabilisation fund for Russia can be made to work successfully without tackling the problems of food supply in Russian markets, especially when we consider the consequences for money supply and wage inflation?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

The hon. Gentleman will know from our debate this morning that the United Kingdom is fully ready to play its part in providing the financial assistance, on a multilateral basis, which is likely to be necessary to support an IMF programme—such as the stabilisation fund or some other suitable instrument—for the former Soviet Union, and especially for Russia. I sought to explain to him then and before that we not only need to sort out finance but to get on with distributing the food that they can grow, with the production of the food that they do not grow, and sort out their system of feeding the people. That is why, through the know-how fund, endless new ideas and help available, which are being paid for by this country to assist with the production and distribution of food. That work will continue, but so will work on economic reconstruction.