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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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gain in independence and vitality, and this in turn
would raise the general economic niveau. Certain
railways, mining and industrial undertakings, and
co-operative peasant societies would quickly begin
to thrive, if they received credit in the form of
I am not blind to the extent to which such a
resumption of permanent economic relations is made
difficult by the old Russian debt, which the Soviet
Government has hitherto failed to acknowledge.
I hope an understanding will be reached as soon
as possible on this delicate question, which icertainly
forms the greatest difficulty in the way of Russia
obtaining Government credit. But it seems to me
that foreign industrial and business men might
very well, and without incurring political difficulties,
give credit in goods to the Russian societies and
other enterprises. By restoring Russia’s capacity
to produce, one would give the country back its
capacity to pay, and so render it easier to carry
out a general and final settlement, which would
have an important influence on every aspect of the
vital problem of resuming normal relations. The
chief difficulty to be overcome is the lack of confi
dence felt by foreign countries in regard to Russia,
and the procrastination of the clumsy bureaucratic
machinery by which the Soviet administration does
its work.
The experience now being gained by my famine
relief organisation will possibly help to restore
foreign confidence in the feasibility and interest of
participating in the work of Russian reconstruction .

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