U.S., Soviets Revive Farm Accord Frozen Over Afghanistan
U.S. and Soviet officials agreed Tuesday to revive a 1973 agreement on cooperation in agriculture that was suspended after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The protocol, signed by Vladimir Kolzov, deputy Soviet minister of agriculture, and U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Daniel G. Amstutz, provides for scientific and technical cooperation and an annual exchange of young farmers, beginning in the summer of 1986.
Because of poor harvests in recent years, Moscow has had to import huge quantities of grain, including record supplies from the United States.
A past criticism of U.S.-Soviet agriculture agreements is that they have helped the Soviet Union, whose farm sector is plagued with low productivity, much more than they aided the United States, and have undercut U.S. exports to the Soviet Union.
However, Amstutz said he believes the current agreement is “balanced” and that Moscow will continue to import grain and other farm products if trade channels stay open.