Soviet Aid to the Third World

The Facts & Figures

By Quintin V.S. Bach
December 2003
Book Guild
ISBN: 1857767284
186 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$157.50 Hardcover


Why do countries offer economic aid to other, less well developed countries? The author's view is that as well as altruism there is always a more pragmatic motive: the spread of political influence. Giving economic aid is always going to be viewed more kindly than offering military support, and when there is rivalry between great powers, as there was during the Cold War, economic aid can be a powerful propaganda tool.

Western aid has been termed by Soviet Ideology as the "conscience money" of the former colonial powers in compensation for their decades of "exploitation" of less well developed countries. Since, in their eyes, the Soviet Union had never been a colonial power, they owed no such recompense. However, the Soviet Union continued to offer "economic cooperation" agreements to the Third World, which was for the most part simply economic aid by another name.

Throughout the Cold War it was next to impossible to obtain any data concerning the true extent of Soviet economic aid to the Third World. After the end of the USSR in 1991, more information became available, and now the author has drawn together a wealth of statistics from a huge variety of sources. This book will be invaluable as a pool of information and a research tool for anyone with an interest in global politics.


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