12 September 1994

Doc. 7162


on the economic situation in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine

presented by Mr TOWNEND and others 1

1.       The economic reforms in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine have brought with them, alongside successes, a number of serious problems linked to the transformation from a state-controlled to a market economy. In consequence, the economic and social situation in the three countries remains precarious, with vast consequences for Europe and the world in the event of failure. On the one hand new enterprises are being formed and the privatisation of state enterprises pursued, on the other, major sectors of the economy, including agriculture, still remain largely under state control and constitute a serious drain on state finances. Furthermore, in the absence of adequate legislation, especially regarding property rights, and an authoritative judicial and administrative system, economic crime is rampant and foreign investment insufficient.

2.       The recent collapse of the Russian investment company "MMM", in which an estimated 10 million people lost their savings, threatens further to undermine the public's confidence in economic reform and a market-oriented economy. It underlines the urgency in the Assembly's call, in its Resolution 1036 (1994) on the progress of economic reform in central and eastern Europe, for "clear legislation governing business, including foreign investment, and ... a functioning banking and financial infrastructure, fundamental to sustained economic development". Finally, it illustrates the concern expressed in the Helsinki Declaration, approved at the Assembly's Parliamentary Conference on the same subject in June 1993, over "the political fragmentation, crime and corruption in some countries" in the region.

3.       The Assembly, in conclusion, calls on the governments of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to make full use of of the expertise and other assistance offered by the Council of Europe and the European Union to pursue the establishment of a democratic, civil society, and market-oriented economy which is not only economically efficient but also socially just and protective of the environment. It invites the European institutions, together with other international organisations, to intensify their efforts to provide assistance and co-operation toward economic and social reform to Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, in order to achieve stability in the region and beyond, and contribute to the full and beneficial integration of these countries into the world economy.


Townend, Holtz, Burbiené, G. Bjarnason, Kolar, Andreoli,

Fenner, Davis, Leers, Billing, Malinowski, Latronico,

Coviello, Demiralp, Molloy, Özver

1 1 1. This text only represents the views of the individual members who have signed it. It does not reflect a position adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly.