FOREIGN RELATIONS: Bad Debt

At Camp David last September, Nikita Khrushchev's complaints to President Eisenhower about restrictions on U.S.Soviet trade drew a polite but pointed reminder that the U.S. might do more business if the Kremlin paid its bills. On the U.S. Treasury books since 1945: Soviet debt for lend-lease goods usable in peacetime, originally set at $2.6 billion but later reduced to $800 million (of total wartime U.S. aid worth $10.8 billion). Last Soviet offer, made by hard-haggling Stalin in 1951: $300 million. Asked if he wished to reopen negotiations, Khrushchev beamed: "Of course,...

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