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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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At the present moment the nations of Europe are
living in a state of grim economic anarchy.
England is groaning beneath a fearful burden of
unemployment, whereas France is suffering from
a shortage of labour. The German rate of
exchange rushes headlong down its giddy descent,
to rise again all of a sudden as the result of a mere
financial manœuvre initiated by the Reichsbank,
after which it again rushes downwards. There
is no sense in all this, and it ought to have
been avoided, but it is obvious that normal
conditions cannot be restored on the trade-market, any
more than they can on the labour-market and the
money-market, until the various countries are
mutually connected again on the principle of
communicating vessels.

Starting from this European point of view I
shall endeavour to analyse the Russian problem.

European Russia has an area which is about
half that of the whole of Europe. Her inhabitants,
amounting to over a hundred million, form by far
the most numerous continental people. Her
fruitful lands were formerly to a great extent Europe’s
granaries, besides producing other necessaries. As
a market, Russia possessed great importance for
European industry.

No one who looks ahead a little, can suppose that
we could cut off Russia from Europe and leave
her to look after herself, without this exercising a
decisive influence on the prosperity and future
prospects of the whole European community.

A few figures will illustrate this. If we only take

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