Yuri Krasin (Gorbachev Foundation), 1992

Yuri Krasin interview at the Gorbachev Foundation, summer of 1992.
Interviewer — Metta Spencer

SPENCER: Well, you know I have not talked to anybody else except Lindsay about the work he was doing when I think you worked together—something about the negotiations regarding Afghanistan. How much, ah, he told me a little bit, but he said that of course that everybody would have a different view, and that I got the idea that perhaps it was important for me to check how much of this is now, to be public knowledge.

KRASIN: Yes, …(006), information of last year. There was another Foundation. The Foundation of Social Political Studies and I was the general director and the scope and power of the arguments were very wide. But now there is a change. There is a new foundation, the International Foundation, Gorbachev Foundation, and I am the Director of only one of the six centres of the Foundation. My centre is for social problems, but you know that “social” is an ambivalent word.

SPENCER: I am a Sociologist so I know exactly what you mean.

KRASIN: In our country there is a tradition to speak about social like about both health problems and education problems and so on. No not this sphere. We have these problems of social stratification of society, very complicated in our country, Dynamic, nobody which class system conflict, and so on. And we want to _____ structure, which trends for the development of our Social Structure. And connected to its problems of social conflict … with our country. But first of all Russia, not all of the states of the Soviet Union, but Russia. And first of all Social. You are interested in problems of National Minorities, But our main problem is not National but Social problems between different strata of our society. Yes, it is our first project, Social Simplification and Social Completes. And they differ into three problems. The second one is problems of Social Programs and Social … Political Parties in Russia. There are more than a hundred parties in Russia, but most of them are very small groups, but some of them may be ten or twelve parties, ya. Professor Golkymn, here, is our first professor of social stratification and relations.

SPENCER: How do you do?

KRASIN: He speaks very good German.

SPENCER: I’m sorry, I am just unilingual. I speak no German or even French, even though I live in Canada.

KRASIN: But a week ago I was in Calgary in Western Canada. Nobody speaks French there.

SPENCER: Oh, that’s true. There’s always a possibility that they will split the country just as here, and it will be over language. The people in Calgary are very hostile to the French.

KRASIN: Yes, they are. We asked people if they spoke French and they said no. Nobody except in Quebec. In Montreal they are bilingual . ..(Laughs).

SPENCER: And they resent it. They don’t want to have to know any other language. I don’t know what to do about that, but

KRASIN: Yes, we were talking about the second problem about Political Parties and the third problem is of Conception; Liberalism and the … people. Our conditions, Social Doctrine of Liberalism. A number of our Economists want to take Liberalism and put it in the place of Marxism.

SPENCER: Almost with a same level of holy scripture. The attitude seems to be to treat it with much more fervour than, I think we would. That’s my sense.

KRASIN: Yes, and we had a conference at the University a week ago. And we did comparative studies of Liberalism in the U.S. and Western Europe with our country. Our conclusion was that Americans are more sceptical toward liberalism than our scientists because our xcientists think that the more liberal you are, it is better. It is enough to take it and that everything will be very good in our country.

SPENCER: I think most social scientists in North America would be closer to Social Democrats than to Liberals.

KRASIN: In Canada too?

SPENCER: More so. I think that there are very few conservatives and a few Liberals, even fewer conservatives, but the New Democratic Party has the loyalty of most Canadian social scientists. But perhaps, you can come up with a new synthesis, who knows. A new merging.

KRASIN: Ya, may be. Some of our fellows consult young democrats .(076).., Somewhere think that something can be done socially, But I think that now there is another way of development in the world. There are two branches. The roots of them is in the nature of human beings. Because a human being is a contradiction — of my own interests, my personal interests and liberalism would be on this side of the nature of people. My Liberty, my personal liberty, the personal opinions of the people. Yes, but there is another part of the human being because the human being is connected with different people and there is a collectivist base in society. Socialism puts the centre of gravity on this side of human beings, because they are developing and inter-connected and so on.

SPENCER: Well, I am not opposed to the Liberal point of view, I sort of agree that if you free people to pursue their own interests, they will also have some interests in other people and I think that Socialism and the Left in general is in trouble around the world. Its not only here, its in Europe and everywhere, and I believe — . .. There is a fellow named John Keene, who has some recent books on Civil Society and Democracy and I think he is right. He points out that the problem is how to organize collective activities without bureaucracy. I remember, you see I was never a Marxist in all my life, I have to say that. It was my First year at University and Norman Thomas came to Berkeley, I was a Berkeley student. And he gave a speech on socialism and I stood up and I was just barely 18, and I said “but what are you going to do about bureaucracy” because if you have socialism, then you are going to have bureaucracy and he sort of minimized that as a problem and all my life I have thought that I was right, that this was the problem. How do you do these generous and altruistic things without bureaucracy? I still don’t have the answer.

KRASIN: It must be a mature Infrastructure. The tragedy of socialism in our country is that we hadn’t any infrastructure for socialism. It wanted to impose it wrongly above, on the people , just like there was a slogan during the first days of the revolution, the October Revolution. We must put the people to the happy life.

SPENCER: Make everybody be happy whether they like it or not.=!

Krasin: And I think that one day, in the world of countries — the present stage of development is the formation of the infrastructure for socialism, like any network of associated connections with people and the … will be not only bureaucrats but seller of … So many different levels of social structure.

SPENCER: So how do you propose working to bring any kind of coherence to this variety of political parties? You say that there are so many political parties here, will there be any way of creating coalitions or unifying principle?

KRASIN: I think that now there is a hope, not only in our country. There is a crisis of the party system, a sceptical relation, a sceptical attitude towards the parties from the ordinary people, and on this base different . … and there is more populism … Yes, in our country too there is a sceptical attitude towards the party. We had a very big party — more than 18 million people, and now only small parties, most of them some thousand people. The Social Democratic Party has only 2011 people.

SPENCER: But everybody seems theoretically to agree and yet you have no possibility of creating unity. I don’t want unity but I want more concurrence.

KRASIN: Yes, many attempts have been made for unity of the different parties. Now and before, but only they create some unity, dissents between them arise on matters of vision of each party. Who wants to be the main leader. . . I think that the parties do not have a future in the next few years. May be in the 21st century a real party system will develop. There was a chance to create a real party system in our country. It began its formation with the CPSU …. Practically in the CPSU before the August coup there were three or four parties on the base of the CPSU. And the main of them, the Social Democratic Friends, there was prepared and published before the coup, a draft program of the CPSU organized by Gorbachev. This was Social Democratic Party, not the Communist Party.

SPENCER: I think it is something that everybody in the west could support, practically.

KRASIN: Yes, if the CPSU had not collapsed, there was a real multi-party system. but of course he lost his chance because of the coup, one of the negative consequences of the coup was that he lost his chance to create a multi party system. And now people don’t really want to go to any party. It is not necessary, there are only small groups.

SPENCER: Why was there a loss of loyalty from, or may be not a loss, but why did the more progressive forces not support Gorbachev more?. It seems to me that where nationalism became an issue, that all of these whom I would identify with became nationalists, and were supporting the break up of the union, when they should have known that Gorbachev was the best politician leading them that they could get. I guess I have big questions in why there was a loss of confidence in him. I have real questions about whether or not he was his own person, the whole time, whether he was able to really be in charge, or whether he almost became hostage to the right and then lost the loyalty of people for that reason. But it seems to me that there are other reasons too. I think the Gulf War was a funny situation where it divided this country in a different way and the nationalism question both divided it in ways that should not have led to the groups to break in the way they seem to have. But to me the really interesting question, which I don’t know anybody feels like answering, is whether or not he was under duress, during the winter of 1990? Whether he was able to take the positions he wanted to take or not. I get different answers to that.

KRASIN: Yes, I think that Gorbachev is ahead of his time, ahead of our time, because old style policy approached those policies that Gorbachev and his political cultural consensus. But in our country we have some historical traditions that there are some reasons for these, historical traditions — deep into the century, not only to the October Revolution. The October Revolution is only one part of history. It is a confrontational culture, not a consensus culture. Our society was always divided between the violent groups, one against the other. . And now this confrontational political culture, it is our problem; we must overcome it, and Gorbachev wanted reforms in our country, but, but he escaped the confrontation which would have led to the second civil war in our country. He wanted reforms, he wanted to balance the forces but it was not possible. And maybe, yes, we must go through some very difficult stages. Even today some people have illusions that things will change in the next five hundred days or 2 to 3 years, but it is impossible. Two decades may be necessary for the democratic reformation of our society and there will not be straight line. I think there will be setbacks and I guess there may be some form of authoritarian regime. Now I can’t see any exit from our situation except by authoritarian methods, at this stage. The question is, who will use these authoritarian methods — the democratic forces under the democratic control, keeping the democratic institutions, the free press and so on — or some military people who will put the terrorist dictatorship, although it is impossible to stay for a long time. But of course this will still cause great damage to our development. And Gorbachev tried to keep all parts of our society together. In Great Britain or the U.S. there is tradition of political cultural consensus and some sort of mechanism of taking into consideration different interests, yes, and in your article there are problems too, because it is necessary to make a mechanism which would take into consideration the interests of the smaller groups even, but that is your problem. Our problem is how to keep two parts of society, Conservatives and Democrats, together without Civil War.

SPENCER: When you say that you expect an authoritarian regime, how do you think that will happen? What is your fantasy or your fear? Is it that these people like the Red-Brown Coalition will somehow gain political ascendancy? How would they gain control? Or is it someone such as the present government, the Yeltsin government?

KRASIN: I think it is possible to miss the authoritarian regime but only to use authoritarian methods. The democratic government can now use some authoritarian methods to develop the economy and social reforms in the country. But it is necessary to have a very real program and to take into account our experience and to put forward some neutralizing social mechanism and may be, more gravely we will move and so on. But if it is a stupid policy, like now, I think it is very stupid, for Gaidar and some others, yes then it is possible for there to be an authoritarian regime, because after this government there is nobody else, only an authoritarian regime; maybe some generals, some more authoritarian people than the last bureaucracy.

SPENCER: Do you have people working here on economic proposals? I saw something with the heading saying “Is the Gorbachev Foundation a Shadow Cabinet?” The question was raised and I had not thought about it that way before, but it is interesting that you have people working on policy issues as if they were a sort of a shadow cabinet. Do you have people working on Economic plans?

KRASIN: Yes, first of all, they reject categorically, for example, that we have this shadow cabinet.

SPENCER: Well, it would be all right with me if you did (laughs).

KRASIN: It is only from the investigating standpoint. Gorbachev said many times that he hasn’t any intention to return to power. He is the president of the Scientific Foundation. He wanted to expertise some problems and to put it, and we send our results of our considerations to Yeltsin and Burbulis. That is first of all. But of course we have our interested in not only social or political problems but economical too, and we have the potential to become a centre of economical studies in our Foundation. But unfortunately, in my opinion, we haven’t in our country, a real scientist in the economical sphere. For many years, our scientists in this field, political economists, it was a scholastic issue about relations between productive forces and productive relations.

SPENCER: We have those there too. In fact, the only committed Marxist social scientists in the world today are those that are left over in North America, who have not heard yet about what has happened here.

KRASIN: (Talks in Russian.) Professor Golkymn says that our progresive, young economists, they are different from the old economists of the marxist tradition. They have only read 2 books, by Friedman and Hayek; that’s all (laughs).

SPENCER: Yes, that’s true.

KRASIN: And this is why we only have some figures. It’s a deficit. Might be Gregory Yavlinsky, Shatalin. Yavlinsky has his own Institute and Shatalin has his own Foundation, and we can’t find any more people to organize such a centre. Gorbachev tried many times and he invited Yavlinsky, but Yavlinsky said, “why, I don’t want to be in your Foundation. I am ready to cooperate with you, I respect you, and so on,” but he has his own institute.

SPENCER: Would his proposal be better, again, than the current plan? Would you have prefered his and Shatalin’s proposal instead of what Gaidar is doing?

KRASIN: Yes, Shatalin has a more moderate and a realistic approach. But I think that some years ago there was a big mistake in our economic policy. Here is Prof. Golkymn who proposed another way, because he put our country on the way of rationalist development and now there is a hyper-inflation in our country.

SPENCER: Yes, but what was your position on that? Were you criticizing this __?

KRASIN: Ya, we proposed another way, and published some articles on it but nobody wanted to discuss this problem. They are all monetarists; they all wanted to go this way but monetarist policies do not apply to our country. It is impossible to get positive results from this way, and we proposed this deflationist way.

SPENCER: Whose idea was that, because I am not familiar with the names.

KRASIN: Yes, he published 5 articles in different newspapers.

SPENCER: Do you have any references?

KRASIN: Izvestia, Economic and Life, Literaturnaya Gazeta and so on.

SPENCER: Maybe I can trace them because I would like to know how it is different.

KRASIN: But of course now, it is impossible. Now it is very difficult to find a way how to an exit process, but maybe the positions of Shatalin and Yavlinsky are more moderate and reasonable. But of course, the weak point of their position is to …desize [?] govt. They have also made many arguments, in a constructive manner.

SPENCER: But Gaidar is more, not progressive, but extreme.

KRASIN: Yes, more extreme. But both of them are not economicians in the real sense of the word, but have an economic-mathematical approach. Shatalin was a head of a mathematical Institute, not a Economic one. Both economists but bookkeepers (laughs).

SPENCER: I see. I have a question that I still don’t have an answer to and that is that it would have seemed to me very early that one of the first things that needed to be done were some sort of agriculture reforms, beginning with —. I don’t know why, but it seems to me that privatization; any kind of privatization has been the last that people have been willing to accept, and I think that Mr. Gorbachev still does not like the idea. But privatization of land and you know that the Chinese had already done so much, why was not the Chinese model followed or looked at carefully?

KRASIN: Yes, but we have many differences from China and one of them, there is more than one reason, like there is an anecdote. One general asks the officer, “ why aren’t the cannons shooting”? And the soldier will answer, “ My general, We have sixteen reasons. first of all we don’t have any shells.” I think that’s enough (laughs). Thus there are many reasons why we could not take the Chinese way. But first of all, we have not in our country enough peasants. No peasants. First it was Stalin and then Khrushchev who struck, and now every of us can take land practically to be a farmer but nobody wants to because no infrastructure, no roads, you don’t know where you take the conditions for the farm and when you sell your products, no infrastructure.

SPENCER: Okay, but, even without peasants you are going to have produce some food, so I can see that it is an argument that it might not work, but it still seems to me that’s what had to be handled first if people are not fed, they are not going to be very cooperative.

KRASIN: But we tried, many a times we tried. Many investments we put into the agriculture. During Brezhnev times we tried, when Gorbachev was head of the Agriculture Dept., he tried too but it was impossible.

SPENCER: What I wondered is that whether or not, the fact that Bukharin was hated so much and Chayanov was also not regarded highly, whether this commitment to the past ideologically kept people from being able to think in new ways about agriculture? Because it seems to me that all of the efforts that were made on agriculture were the same old thing, I mean not very interesting, not very radical.

Krasin: Chayanov was one of our well known economists and I think he was very reasonable and it was the rate of our development of our agriculture, which takes into account the Russian traditions, because it the tradition of the Russian peasant family and he wanted to have a base of the development of our agriculture on this base. But, unfortunately after cultivization, it was destroyed, and now it is very difficult to find a way of developing our agriculture, and if some of our leaders, Yeltsin too, wants to move aside some somebody from his team to that position , it is the right way to put him on the Agriculture Policy. (Rutskoi!) (Laugh.) It is the most difficult thing.

Q : He did not originate that idea. It seems to me that a friend of yours put another enemy of his onto the same problem. Wasn’t that the way they handled Ligachev? [They laugh about something, speaking in Russian, then say that it is impossible to translate their joke.] It’s on tape. I’ll get somebody else to tell me about it . Well, tell me about your research on stratification. How are approaching this question of social stratification in Russsia?

KRASIN: We want to move in a double track. First, the experimental investigation. Of the base polls; we do not have a special team in our centre here at the foundation, but we have agreements with centres, two very special centres of..polls in our country.The Institute of Sociology and the service of Professor Grushan. And we put them to test at centres made for our polls and of course there are some meetings of experts for assessment, and the second way is the theoretical approach because we want to have some scheme of development. You know, we had a very simplified scheme before; it had only 3 classes: urban, peasant, and wealthy. But now there is a change there, it was too old, and there was no investigation of small groups, although there were a few attempts. In 1968, there was a organized group of sociology, of which Prof. Golkhymn was Deputy Director there. Professor ___ was the head. Prof. Burlatsky was in some other department. They tried to make a real investigation of our social structure but our govt and the party chiefs did not like it, and they put their last like before this attempt. Prof. Gavich, his nickname is bulldozer, and he fired all the real scientists and it was the end of this attempt.

SPENCER: Two people that you might contact because I think it might be useful; Yuri and Olga Medvedkov, who are now in the Univ. of Ohio and who have now completed a study of poverty inthe Soviet Union— the geographical map of poverty.

KRASIN: Now it is very difficult because 90% of our population is under the line of poverty.

SPENCER: But I had seen some of the maps they have produced and they are shaded according to the degree of poverty and so on. So anyway they are very fine people and I think it’s worth looking at what they have been doing.

KRASIN: Yes, and if we think about our future economic development, I think it is necessary, absolutely necessary to put two corrections. First, it must be the necessary to move towards the market economy, o fcourse a reasonable worthwhile market which are emulated in all countries like Canada and the U.S. Yes, it is the right line, but it is necessary to move more gradually, slower, not one year or five years, but 10-15 years and in sub-stages and without any violence.


KRASIN: Yes, and the second correction is also very important. It is necessary to have a system of social [administrators? amortization?]. Also by now, you can see that our whole population is suffering now, it’s roped now. If you made some money and many saved it every year for the future, because of the … it is necessary to have some money in the bank, but it is nothing now. It is necessary of course to have, but I think it is was not necessary. It could be taken some plan of freezing the savings. Not taking, but to freeze for some years, may be aggregations or something. But no budget problems were voiced, how to say it, The Chicago boys. From this Chicago boys they sought to develop only their scheme to move on the high equate of the market. But it is necessary to think thoroughly about amortization mechanism.

SPENCER: To what extent do you think the IMF pressures Gaidar to go very fast on this monetary _____? Is this entirely his own initiative or is there really some pressure on him? ( Prof. Golkhym speaks). Ah, I see. He claims there is more than there is. [ i.e. Gaidar claims that]

KRASIN: Yes, of course, he is man of little political experience. He was assigned here as member of our council in the former Foundation. He is a scientist who spent most of his life not in the U.S.S.R. but in Cuba; his father was in the Russian Embassy. He is a very clever and a very good man but no experience.

SPENCER: Well, you know the problem is in — that I think that your gradual approach is certainly the right one — at least I think— but, the problem is how to keep the expectations from getting inflated so much. When I ask my friends here why they did not support Gorbachev, well they hate him. Why do they hate him? Because he told us all these big things that he was going to do and they were such big things and nothing happened. Well, I think it would be unreasonable to expect a whole lot more than did actually happen, although certainly, more might have been possible. But the tragedy, I think might have been the rising expectations that were not reasonable.

KRASIN: Yes, it is a very complicated problem. it is first of all a destiny of all reformers in our country. It began with Tsar Alexander and his other advisors who promised him that the programs would be very good, but they turned out to be very bad, and people hated him too for the position of our country. And Stolypin. It’s a destiny. In the country, it is connected to what I said to you before, about the confrontational culture. Unfortunately, we have such a political culture, a tradition. For the reform, it is invaluable to have a political culture of consensus, of compromise.

You know Gorbachev was and is a child of his time too. He was a party functionary and I think I am sure that at the beginning of reforms in 1985, he did not understand that there will be such a confrontation, and he sincerely believed that it’s a problem of reformation of socialism in our country—not the transition to some other different sysyem. And Gorbachev was developing like a politician, like a philosopher who believes in the development of our country. Yes, and of course the reaction of all the people now, who began this protest, blame him. It is the ordinary people, I understand them, I don’t agree with them, but I understand them.

SPENCER: Do you really think that they were given too elevated a set of expectations? Were promises made that in a few years, we will have it all under control or was it put out there that this going to take time, be patient, its not going to happen quickly? When Mr. Gorbachev, I mean at various stages along the way, was there an effort to keep from promising too much or raising hopes that could not be fulfilled?

KRASIN: I think that he had some mistakes in the assessment of time, because he had been sincerely told that it would only take 2 or 3 years for things to get better. He promised that to the people in his speeches that it would take 2 to 3 years, but every step forward made him understand the problem deeper and deeper, and of course it is a very long process of reform. Now the people are against him, because he promised them, but now it is necessary to wait. Now they hate Yeltsin because it is necessary to wait.

SPENCER: I have heard people say that the economy was actually declining sharply during the Brezhnev period, but that the oil revenues enabled them to disguise the increasing poverty and then suddenly, when the oil prices declined —-. On the other hand, I talked to another fellow who said that that cannot explain very much of it, because the balance of trade was kept stable throughout that period, it did not increase very much, and therefore he does not see that it could explain very much. But do you all agree here, most people do, that oil revenues did make a lot of difference.

KRASIN: Yes, certainly during the Brezhnev period.

SPENCER: And until, early in Gorbachev’s period.

KRASIN: Well, it’s possible. Its a very favorable situation. It takes time. I think it began in the 1970s, middle ’70s , when he proposed the reforms, but of course our leadership of the time organized the process. They made some attempts, first of all the most significant was in 1968.

SPENCER: So is it fair to say, then you think, that if the oil money had not been there, that it would have been necessary to address some of these problems earlier and may be the terrible crisis that Gorbachev had to face when the oil money stopped, would have already, some of those things would have been handled? I have heard that said here but I have not seen anything written about it in the West and I was thinking that I would like to pursue that idea.

Well, you certainly have my good wishes. How long do you think you are going to be around? You know the other day I was here, and you were being picketed. Do you fear the disapproval of the public and typically of these Red-Brown demonstrators? Do you worry that they may have some influence?

KRASIN: We are experienced because after the August Coup there was the first Foundation I was director of, and the Moscow authorities decided to take these buildings from us and so on, and there was not only picketing but a huge procession that we could only get into the building from the back way.

SPENCER: Really.

KRASIN: It was a siege, a very good experience (laughs). But this picketing was only a trap, because first of all, it was only a group of people from Leningrad and no Muscovites were standing. No group from Moscow and our press disinformed our population that the Gorbachev Foundation was closed by the people. No, we closed the doors from inside, no one closed them from outside. For all of our people inside, it was a usual working day and some of our people left the foundation after this. No there was no big trouble.

SPENCER: But in effect though last time there was political opposition that did harm your functioning; you were closed down. What about the future? Can you imagine that there will be growing hostility in the future towards this institution and is it set up with such a sturdy legal structure that it cannot be attacked or is it vulnerable?

KRASIN: Yes, of course it is possible. Nobody knows what will happen next in our country. I suppose that there might be a civil war, then it is impossible to ascertain whether the Foundation will be closed or not. Who knows, maybe Gorbachev is arrested or even Yeltsin is arrested and killed or so on. Yes, it will, if such a conspiracy exists, but I don’t think that it is inevitable. I reiterate that it all depends on the clever use of power by the government.

SPENCER: But so far the Yelstin government is supportive of this institution? Is that correct or does it need to be supportive?

KRASIN: From the agreement with Yeltsin, first of all there was an order of Yeltsin to open this Foundation and we are grateful for the conception of this foundation and so on. But of course there are some speculations and I think that some people want, they consciously want, to describe our Foundation as a political opposition to the Yelstin government.

SPENCER: Which is very very dangerous for you.

KRASIN: Yes of course,and there was a break of irritation from Yeltsin. You know there was an announcement that Gorbachev did not recognize some traditions and some constitutional changes will have to be made against the foundation and so. But I think this was out of dissent of our condition and our actions and intentions. Of course, we are supportive and Gorbachev said many times, we are supported to life of the Yeltsin government because after this, there is no one else— only anarchy in our country or dictatorship by very dangerous people. Yes of course, we did not agree with some aspects of Yeltsin’s government, but we wanted to correct it, and as I said, that we send the results of our investigations and considerations to the Yeltsin government. So our position is constructed, critically constructed.

SPENCER: Tell me a little about the U.S. Organization. I used to know Jim Garrison a little bit and I think you have a branch or is it a different organization completely in San Francisco?

KRASIN: Personally, it is my opinion, I am very sceptical about this condition. Some of my opinions on J. Garrison are very critical but it is clear that the reasons of Jim Garrison is a sort of a problem. He is a manager, you know. And I think in Canada, we are trying to find a more reasonable way of organizing the trust attached to the Calgary investment. Nobody is personally interested from the position of the program because there is a council, some board from the people of Calgary and our foundation and this board will decide which way to use money for investigation, for preparation with in the foundation and some Canadian Universities. It is a better way. But of course the Gorbachev Foundation USA … a lot of money since it is at a complicated stage, and Gorbachev can’t take any money here which he worked for. It has to be some kind of a donation. No 50% anymore.

SPENCER: I know, that’s terrible. I don’t know how you can afford it.

KRASIN: And now Gorbachev can’t take his money. He has half a million dollars of his own here, and he needs his money now. But he can’t take it.

SPENCER: But if he has money in the U.S. he can bring it in here?

KRASIN: Yes, and it was decided that Jim Garrison took some money because he used the name of Gorbachev in some way and it is an independent organization, not a branch of the foundation, following American laws.

SPENCER: But the thing in Calgary will be more closely related to the Foundation or not?

KRASIN: Well, in Calgary they have made initiatives to organize a deal with Gorbachev, in Canada in the beginning of next year. And I and Mr. Shakhnazarov went and made some preparation, and had talks with some people there; organized a national Committee. Mr Gorkevorov is there. Mr. Trudeau is in the Committee and some other people. Well, there will be ten days meetings in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and so on.

SPENCER: So has it been announced or is it still quiet?

KRASIN: No, it is still only in the preparation stage and there is no exact date. It is possible to be held in March next year.

After we were through, I commented that on the comment that Semeiko had made yesterday about how they ought to put up a monument to Gorbachev, a gold monument and they said, well, a monument yes, but let’s use the gold from the monument for the foundation instead.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books