A Business Guide to the Soviet Union

As rapid and wide-ranging changes continue to unfold in the Soviet Union - and in the former Soviet republics that recently set out in their own - requests have soared for information about the region's social, political, and economic conditions.

As a service to our readers, the American Banker updated the following resource list. This guide was originally prepared by editorial assistant Rita Kay Meyer for a March 1989 special report, "Banking With the Soviet Union."

The list comprises a sample of agencies, law firms, consultants, language and health resources, schools, special libraries, and publications valuable to bankers and others seeking to do business in the Soviet Union. In a nod to these high-tech times, the Database section is a new addition to the list.


American Committee On U.S.-Soviet Relations Washington 202-546-1700 A nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to strengthening public understanding of U.S.-Soviet political, economic, and cultural relations. Encourages programs and meetings in the United States on science, culture, and nonmilitary Soviet trade. Forums held four to six times a year include leaders in U.S. and Soviet trade. Also includes the American Committee on East-West Accord.

American Trade Organization (Amtorg) New York 212-956-3010 Owned by the Soviet Union, consults with American companies on Soviet trade opportunities and assists Soviet organizations trying to sell goods in the United States.

Bankers Association For Foreign Trade Washington 202-452-0952 A group of U.S. banks, and international banks with U.S. operations. Lobbies on legislation and regulations affecting international banking and trade.

Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs Of the U.S.S.R. Zurich 011-411-211-2335 Also known as Vnesheconombank, this state bank, handles most of the Soviet Union's international financial transactions. Vnesheconombank has an office in New York.

Bank for International Settlements Basel, Switzerland 011-416-120-8111 Clears and tracks currency flows under international law, to promote cooperation among national central banks. Founded in 1930, BIS represents 29 institutions: 24 European central banks, along with those of Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and the United States.

Bureau of Economic And Business Affairs Department of State Washington 202-647-1942 Formulates and implements economic policies on U.S. relations with other countries, including international business practices, trade finance, investment, development, natural resources, transportation, and promotion of U.S. business interests.

Chicago Center for U.S.-U.S.S.R. Relations And Exchange Chicago 312-236-0825 Arranges programs, gathers and disseminates information on U.S.-Soviet relations, and coordinates "sister city" arrangements between Chicago and Kiev.

Chicago Counsel for U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. Friendship Chicago 312-427-4892 Affiliated with the National Counsel for Soviet-American Friendship Inc.; hosts tourists from U.S.S.R. Related "sister" organization based in Moscow, U.S.S.R.-U.S.A. Friendship Society, hosts Americans who travel to the U.S.S.R.

Economic Office For Soviet Affairs Department of State Washington 202-647-9370 Studies U.S.-Soviet relations and helps other agencies to deal with the Soviet Union; can assist with joint ventures (202-647-9370) and visas (202-647-8956).

Export-Import Bank Of the United States Washington 202-566-8990 800-424-5201 Aids in financing exports of U.S. goods and services; offers direct credit to borrowers outside the U.S.; guarantees export loans made by commercial lenders; provides working capital guarantees, export credit insurance, and discount loans. Advises businesses on U.S. government export programs.

Foreign Services Research Institute Washington 202-362-1588 Information on American culture to embassies, foreign business firms, and foreign educational establishments; advice on placement of foreign students; library of U.S. and foreign educational and cultural data. Represents the Academy of Independent Scholars, which aids retired scholars in research, library access, and travel; panel of retired experts does research for foreign embassies on U.S. businesses.

House Subcommittee On Department Operations, Research, and Foreign Agriculture Washington 202-225-0301 Deals with trade issues; has jurisdiction over programs of the Department of Agriculture.

International Trade Administration Department of Commerce Washington 202-377-2000 Participates in formulation of international trade policy and implements the programs to promote world trade, and strengthen the international trade and investing position of the U.S. The administration's office of Eastern Europe and Soviet Affairs can also be reached at 202-377-4655.

National Council of American-Soviet Friendship Cleveland 216-861-5542 or 861-4078 Hosts Soviet delegations; promotes tourism to the U.S.S.R.; provides educational films on the U.S.S.R.

Ohio Department of Development International Trade Division Columbus, Ohio 614-466-5017 Promotes exports for Ohio manufacturing and service companies, and trade and investment in Ohio by foreign countries - including Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. Also has an office in Brussels, Belgium: 011-32-2-534-4920

Overseas Private Investment Corp. and International Development Cooperation Agency Washington 202-457-7010 Assistance through political insurance, direct loans, and loan guarantees to qualified U.S. private investors to support their investments in lesser-developed countries.

Treasury Department Washington 202-566-5252 Advises the Treasury secretary on domestic and international economic policies.

UNIDA: United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations Moscow: 795-198-9803 Vienna: 011-43-1-21131 New York: 212-963-6890 Investment promotion services; centers for international industrial cooperation; international training program for accountants, their trainers, and teachers.

U.S. Information Agency European Affairs Washington 202-619-4563 Advises the President, Congress, and federal agencies on U.S. policies toward the Soviet Union. Manages U.S. information service offices in countries that conduct cultural and educational exchange programs through lecture, radio broadcasts, films, and television.

U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade And Economic Council New York: 212-644-4550 Moscow: 011-7095-243-5470 A nonprofit trade facilitation group; works only with members to develop contacts for markets between the United States and the U.S.S.R.

Law Firms

Arnold & Porter Washington 202-872-6700 Involved in joint ventures with the Soviet Union and East European countries. Counseled the Russian republic on banking and government reform.

Baker & McKenzie New York: 212-751-5700 Moscow: 011-7095-200-4906 The only law firm with a registered representative office in the Soviet Union, opened in 1990. Six attorneys live in Moscow, one in Kiev. Heavily involved in privatization of industries, including services for the Soviet government.

Coordinated services of attorneys based in London, Washington, New York, Moscow, and other U.S. and European offices. Offers privatization expertise acquired in key financial centers of the world, applicable to financing activities of investment banks and other clients.

Coudert Brothers New York: 212-880-4400 Moscow: 7095-928-7838 Represents Western clients in transactions with the Soviet Union in joint ventures, technology transfers, cooperative agreements, licensing, compensation, trade agreements, and trade finance. Also assists in legal and tax aspects of negotiations.

Debevoise & Plimpton New York, London, Paris, Budapest New York: 212-909-6000 Acts for U.S., European, and Japanese clients in investment and trade matters involving many sectors of the Soviet economy. Particular experience in banking and financial services. Works closely with leading Soviet law firms.

Ernst & Young 212-773-6555 Moscow: 011-7095-237-1250 Provides 50-person office in Moscow and Kiev, accounting systems, auditing, tax planning, expatriate taxes, and market entry advisory services.

LeBeouf, Lamb And Macrae New York: 212-715-8182 Moscow: 011-7095-230-1387 A full service law office involved with trade and investment transactions in most republics. Specialties include investments in oil and gas industries, representation of U.S. money-center banks, trade and investment transactions in most branches of industry, real estate, and intellectual property matters.

Lord Day And Lord Barrett, Smith New York 212-969-6000 Contact: Peter Pettibone Represent major U.S. companies engaged in joint ventures with the Soviet Union. Close working relationship with Soviet attorneys who handle business in Soviet union. Attorneys fluent in Russian; native Russian-speaking attorneys and paralegals. Counsel to U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council; one attorney is U.S. cochairman of the legal committee.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley And McCloy New York, Washington, Moscow, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta New York: 212-530-5000 Washington: 202-835-7522 Moscow: 7095-924-2279 Represents Western and Soviet clients in project finance, trade, mineral extraction and processing, privatization, joint ventures, and technology transfers. Involved in creation of legal, regulatory, and organizational infrastructure necessary for the emerging financial services industry.


Alexander Filatov Lawrence, Kan.: 913-864-4225 Moscow: 7095-412-7484 Professor at the Plekhanov Financial Institute in Moscow; consultant for U.S. on "Kansas-Moscow Bridge" project. Holds seminars in Moscow on new forms of management; helps companies choose optional management structure. Currently preparing "Guidebook To Understanding Business in U.S.S.R - a Collection of Business Cases."

Buyske Consulting New York 212-673-0171 Develops business strategies; analyzes business and political risk, arranges contacts. Specializes in banking systems.

Geonomics Middlebury, Vt. 802-388-9627 or 388-9619 Private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation develops solutions to global economic problems. Focused for past two years on Soviet and Eastern European economic and political transformation. Holds seminars on key issues, and policy workshops.

Intertrade Services Inc. Wickoff, N.J. 201-6522-7335 Private company with clients in trade, industry, finance, and politics. Works out barter and countertrade arrangements. Structures joint ventures and joint stock companies. Contract for training programs. Sells financial insurance, advertising, and other services; Develops commercial real estate projects.

Moran, Stahl & Boyer International Boulder, Colo. 303-449-8440 Conducts language, cross-cultural, and business training programs. Assists families embarking on or coming back from foreign assignments in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern European countries. Seminars for international business travelers on differences in management and negotiating styles in these countries.

National Foreign Trade Council Inc. New York 212-399-7128 International personnel division for members provides information and advice on expatriate compensation, cost-of-living information, international personnel directory, seminars and conferences. Leads a coalition of American business companies seeking to do business with the Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. A special group of business people leads a coalition promoting free trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

New Gate Ventures New York 212-714-2002 Assists Western clients with transactions in the Soviet Union, including joint ventures and technology transfers. Specializes in U.S.-Ukrainian business and trade development. U.S. representative of Ukraine Foreign Trade Association, a large, multi-industry group with offices throughout the Ukraine.

Runzheimer & Co. Rochester, Wis. 414-534-3121 Publishes comparative studies of living and travel costs; advice on employee relocation, group moves, site selection, and national wage/salary programs; transportation and travel budgets; relocation counseling.

Soviet Market Information Services Seattle, Wash. 206-447-2668 Advice to businesses on trade with the Soviet Far East; training sessions for Soviet managers in specific industries.

Health Organizations

Centers for Disease Control Department of Health And Human Services Rockville, Md. 301-443-2610 Provides list of inoculations needed for traveling to countries in the Eastern Bloc.

DAR International Inc. New York 212-222-0035 Specializes in Soviet health, environment, and biotechnology ventures. Develops biotechnology projects for Soviet domestic and international markets. Offers Russian industrial production by license or joint venture to American firms, through its general business development firm - Adeen Trading Co. Has frequent Soviet requests for bank development.

Wallach & Co. Middleburg, Va. 703-687-3166 Offers a variety of travel insurance policies.

World Health Organization New York UN bookstore: 212-963-7680 Mail order: 518-436-9686 Publishes "Vaccination Certificate for International Travel & Health Advice to Travelers" (1991) $12.60.

Language Courses

Accent on Language New York 212-355-5170 Courses and private lessons in Russian, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Ukrainian, Croatian, and German.

Brown University Providence, R.I. 401-863-2689 Slavic language department teaches Russian and Czech.

City University of New York New Paltz, N.Y. 914-257-3500 Foreign language immersion program in Russian, Polish, German, Hungarian, Czech, and any other language - if at least five students are interested.

Columbia University New York 212-854-3941 Slavic language and literature department.

George Washington University Washington 202-994-6335 Slavic language and literature-department.

Middlebury College Middlebury, Vt. 802-388-3711 Summer language program in Russian.

Ohio State University Office of Continuing Education Columbus, Ohio 614-292-6733 Conversational Russian; Slavic and East European language and literature department.

University of Indiana Indianapolis 317-274-2812 Russian language instruction; considering a minor in Russian studies.

World Trade Institute New York 212-466-4074 Group lessons in Russian at lunchtime and in the evening.


Business International Corp. New York 212-460-0600

Eastern Europe and U.S.S.R., weekly newsletter, $1,000 yearly. Provides direct support for East Europe and Soviet operations. Emphasizes practical day-to-day business issues with a range of regular features.

Business in the USSR Moscow/Paris Subscriptions in the U.S.: 212-629-4460 Monthly written in Russian and English by Soviet journalists in Moscow; editor Vadim Biryukov; $85 for 11 issues a year. Covers economics, politics, finance. New weekly, Business in the USSR - The Letter, to be launched Dec. 1, 1991: six to eight pages, distributed by fax; $1,000 yearly.

Commersant Moscow Distributor in U.S.: 312-930-6500/6571 Weekly, $265 a year for U.S. subscribers. Covers Soviet business. The Soviet Union's only independent weekly newspaper, available in separate Russian and English editions.

Eastern Europe Report American Banker * Bond Buyer Newsletters Bethesda, Md. 800-733-4371 or 301-654-5580 Weekly newsletter on opportunities in trade and finance. Includes quarterly index of stories arranged by country and organization.

Harriman Institute Forum New York 212-854-4623 Broad range of topics written and published by Columbia University's W. Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union.

Interflo Maplewood, N.J. 201-763-9493 Editor and publisher Paul Surovell monitors trade with the Soviet Union. Provides comprehensive monthly abstracts covering all aspects of Soviet trade and investment. Surveys trade relations with the U.S.S.R. and other countries.

The PlanEcon Report Washington 202-898-0471 Several newsletters from PlanEcon Inc., a consulting firm, report on trade and financial developments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The PlanEcon Report, a weekly analytical newsletter, concentrates on macroeconomic and trade developments. Primary focus: comparative review of economic performance. Also, The PlanEcon Trade and Finance Review; semiannual reports on recent trade developments, with extensive historical balance-of-payments, debt, and trade statistics. The PlanEcon Review and Outlook, semiannuall comprehensive summary and review of recent major economic and trade developments, and five-year forecasts.

Quarterly Report to Congress on Trade Between the U.S. and Nonmarket Economies International Trade Commission Washington 202-205-1809 (orders) 202-205-3255 (mailing list) The April-June 1991 edition due to be available in late November. Commission is asking Congress to change its name.

East/West Business Report Washington 301-907-8125 Trade news from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, American government news affecting East-West trade,; and activities of American companies in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Soviet Business and Trade With News From Eastern Europe Welt Publishing Co. Washington 202-371-0555 Editors Jerry Orvedehl and Lawrence Holland cover commercial, trade, and economic developments such as technology joint ventures, competitive information, contracts, and commercial leads.

Soviet Far East Update Soviet Market Information Services Publishing Co. Monthly newsletter Seattle 206-447-2778 Editor Elisa Miller covers trade and economic developments in the Soviet Far East.

Soviet Independent Business Directory North River Press Directory Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. 914-941-7175 A guide to over 2,100 Soviet independent businesses, including information on size and business activity, foreign trade experience, key contacts, a business activities index, and geographic index.

Surviving Together: A Journal on Soviet-American Relations Institute for Soviet-American Relations Washington 202-387-3034 Published four times a year. Keeps up with nongovernmental activities, economies (not trade or joint ventures). Excerpts from U.S. and U.S.S.R. journals. Describes bilateral agreements; clearing house for Soviet-American activities. Also publishes Handbook of Organizations Involved in Soviet-American Relations, updated directory of national nonprofit groups involved in Soviet-American relations. Profiles of 313 organizations, plus indexes of groups that deal in environment, trade and economics, education, health and world security. Appendices list relevant offices in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Dubbed the "yellow pages of Soviet-American relations."

U.S.S.R. Legal Materials Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. 914-693-0089 Loose-leaf updates will probably be available every other month, due to constant changes in the U.S.S.R.; published by Trans National Juris publications; edited by Lord Day & Lord Barrett, Smith a law firm, and Parker School of the Columbia University Law School.

U.S.S.R. Business Vancouver, B.C. FAX: 604-873-4347 Editor, Rein Stamm; $160 year. Monthly newsletter on doing business with the U.S.S.R.; articles on how U.S.S.R. is preparing to work with free market societies; economists and business writers give readers information for import, export, and joint venture dealings with the U.S.S.R.; reports on the new commercial banking system and the 400 new banks that have been registered.

World Bank Washington 202-473-7661 Publishing a three-volume summary of its U.S.S.R. findings.

World Bank Watch American Banker * Bond Buyer Newsletters Bethesda, Md. 800-733-4371 or 301-654-5580 Weekly newsletter on development bank activities around the globe. Regularly includes a Project Tip Sheet listing advance notices of projects slated for funding by multilateral development banks.


American University Washington 202-686-2771 The Business Council for International Understanding offers programs of one, three, five, and 10 days for managers and spouses living and/or working in Russia and Central Europe. Separate programs for teenagers and children living in Russia and Central Europe.

Columbia University New York 212-854-4623 The W. Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union is a teaching and research institute with intensive research in Soviet studies.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business Durham, N.C. 919-660-6344 Offers a four-week program, three times a year, to Soviet business trainees. Focuses on capital markets, marketing, and economics. Includes three weeks of academic training at Duke and a fourth week of internship.

George Washington University Washington 202-994-6340 The Institute of Sino-Soviet Studies researches Soviet, East European, and East Asian affairs.

Harvard University Business School Boston 617-495-4037 The Russian Research Center specializes in economics, law, business, and finance. In-house library in English and foreign languages. Holds about 100 seminars yearly on all areas of Soviet and European affairs, and five conferences on economics.

Monterey Institute For International Studies Center for Russian And Soviet Studies Monterey, Calif. 408-647-4123/4154 Two-year program includes graduate study and research on contemporary Soviet politics and society. Integrates language, foreign affairs, and cultural studies into a professional training program in Soviet politics and international affairs.

New York University New York 212-285-8840 The Management Decision Laboratory has a major grant from the United States Agency for International Development to train Eastern European and Russian business leaders. The laboratory has organized a network of U.S. and foreign businesses to work on these problems.

University of Georgia Athens, Ga. 404-542-2985 The Center for East-West Trade Policy focuses on U.S. and Western government and trade policies in technical relations with communist and post-communist countries. Collects, analyzes, and coordinates research; monitors and evaluates U.S. and Western policies governing East-West trade and technological relations; promotes exchanges and cooperation among trade policy experts in the East and West.

University of Washington Seattle, Wash. 206-543-4389 or 543-4852 The Department of Marketing and International Business offers a course on Soviet business and trade. The Department of Russian and Eastern European Studies offers courses on trade with Eastern bloc countries.

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia 215-898-3030 The Aresty Institute of Executive Education offers seminars, conferences, training sessions, and management education programs to U.S. and U.S.S.R. executives.

Yale University Yale Center for International and Area Studies New Haven, Conn. 203-432-3424 The Yale Center has seven interdepartmental councils from various academic departments that offer undergraduate and graduate studies, support research, and sponsor conferences and seminars. The Soviet and East European Studies Council focuses on the history, politics, economy, and culture of the countries of Eastern Europe.


The New York Public Library Research Libraries Slavonic: (Slavic and Baltic). Fifth Avenue and 42d Street 212-930-0714 Expert reference staff. Indexes and catalogs. Some interlibrary loans available. Special collections include church Slavonic rare books and manuscripts from the 14th century. Also books from the Russian Imperial and Grand Ducal libraries.

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Inc. Reference Library 1775 Broadway New York 212-397-5343 For researchers by appointment only. Major subjects include Soviet government and politics, history, language, and literature. Special collections include Radio Free Europe Research bulletins.

Database Resources

Online Business Sourcebook BiblioData Needham Heights, Mass. 617-444-1154 $79.95 A handbook organized by 14 business topics and divided by country.

Information Industry Directory Two volumes Gale Research Inc. Detroit 800-347-4253 The 12th annual edition is currently available from this unit of the Thomson Corp. Covers the entire information industry, including on-line services, data bases, optical publishing products -- including CD-ROM and compact disc interactive -- information-on-demand firms, publishers, consultants, associations, and others in the field.

Database Directory Knowledge Industry Publications Inc. White Plains, N.Y. 914-328-9157


DIALOG Information Services Inc. A Knight-Ridder Company Palo Alto, Calif. 800-334-2564 or 415-858-3785 European business sources include financial information and historical background, late-breaking news, import/export information, and mergers and acquisitions. Other information retrieval sources available from DIALOG include Soviet Science and Technology and PIERS Exports.

Datastar Thomson Financial Services Wayne, Pa. 800-221-7754 Computer base (Switzerland): 011-4131-509-613 Main sales office (London): 071-930-5503 Provides 270 data bases of information, primarily on business topics, including the American Banker, two data bases specifically on East German companies. Parent is Radio Suisse, Bern, Switzerland.

Mead Data Central 9393 Springboro Pike P.O. Box 933 Dayton, Ohio 513-865-6800 New York office: 212-309-8144 Toll free: 800-346-9759 Soviet banking information on the Nexis [TM] and Lexis [TM] services includes the following databases:

* BizEkon News: from SovData DiaLine of Moscow; economic news translated from more than 150 Soviet periodicals. * Soviet Business Law Report: from Buraff Publications of Washington; Soviet business, economic, labor, and legal activity, including banking-related legislation. * The Current Digest of the Soviet Press: from a publisher of the same name in Columbus, Ohio. Includes translations and abstractions from 90 newspapers and periodicals, including Pravda, Isvestia, and Ekonomicheskaya Gazeta. * Country Data Forecasts: From Bank of America's World Information Services; data on 23 economic indicators, including history, estimates for the current year, and five-year forecast. * COUP: Coverage from more than 30 news sources, includes translations of daily news, official decrees, and profiles of coup leaders. Contributors include States News Service, Agence France Presse, Reuters, TASS, Associated Press, United Press International, and The New York Times.

PAIS International BRS Information Technologies A Division of Maxwell Online Inc. McLean, Va. 800-955-0906 Worldwide coverage of the public policy aspects of economics, business, government, law, public administration, political science, international relations, legislation, demography, and all other social sciences. Sources include periodical articles, government documents, books, pamphlets, reports, yearbooks, and directories.

PTS/PROMT provides broad coverage of international trade and business sources selected from more than 1,000 publications.

Public Affairs Information Service New York 212-736-6629 800-288-7247

Established 75 years ago to fill libraries' needs for indexed material on public policy as it pertains to financial and other issues. Coverage includes international banking legislation and practices. Ukraine and other former members of the Soviet Union now set up in separate indexes.

Predicasts 11001 Cedar Ave. Cleveland 800-321-6388 On-line access to sources pertaining to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Includes Russian language publications Biznes & Banki (Business and Banks); Delovoi Mir (Business World); Ekonomika & Zhizn' (Economics and Life); Kommersant (Businessman); Moskovskie Novosti (Moscow News). Also includes publications put out by the American Banker * Bond Buyer: Eastern Europe Report, Global Guarantee, and World Bank Watch.

Reuter Textline New York office: 1700 Broadway 212-493-7100 Offers access to publications and a variety of general databases, including BBC Monitoring Service (Soviet Union); Ecotass; Foreign Trade (USSR); Neftyannik, and Selskaya Zhizn. Specialist data bases in banking, finance, and international business include Euromoney Trade Finance and Banker International and Institutional Investor (International).

PHOTO : KEEPING TRACK: Dmitry Kuznetsov charts the flow of funds to and from Mosbusinessbank's international correspondent accounts.

PHOTO : BACK-OFFICE BUSINESS: At independent Montazhspetsbank in Moscow, staffers track deposits and withdrawals.

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