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Yugoslavia: The Soviet Bloc
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Foreign Trade > Trading Partners > The Soviet Bloc

THE SOVIET BLOC


Seven years after the embargo of Yugoslavia by Stalin's Soviet bloc, trade relations with the Soviet Union began to improve. In 1955 and 1956, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovak, Poland, and East Germany granted credits to Yugoslavia totaling US$40 million, at rates considerably below standard World Bank rates. By 1964 Yugoslavia had gained observer status in CEMA, and some meetings of that organization were held in Belgrade. Because trade with the Soviet Union consisted mainly of exchanging Yugoslav consumer goods, machines, ships, and transport equipment for critical Soviet oil, Yugoslavia was at the mercy of its larger partner. In the 1980s, the Soviet Union first raised the price of oil independently of world prices, then arbitrarily reduced imports of Yugoslav consumer goods. Continuation of Soviet oil supply arrangements into the 1990s also damaged Yugoslavia's image as a nonaligned country qualified for inclusion in Western economic groupings. Soviet oil supply became less reliable in 1990 when the Soviet economy experienced a domestic oil shortage and cut foreign deliveries. And the machinery and equipment that Yugoslavia exported to CEMA countries required raw and semifinished materials bought with hard currency, making the CEMA connection an indirect hardcurrency drain in this respect. On the other hand, buying oil from the Soviet Union required no hard currency and provided a market for low-quality Yugoslav consumer goods. For CEMA members, trade with nonaligned Yugoslavia was a convenient way of obtaining Western products whose technological restrictions made them unavailable by direct purchase.

Data as of December 1990




Last Updated: December 1990


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Yugoslavia was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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Section 115 of 208






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