TRADE: A Loan in Siberia

For nearly a decade, Japan and the Soviet Union have been mired in desultory negotiations over joint development of the vast natural resources of Siberia. The Japanese need the oil, natural gas, coal and timber that the Russians offer and have plenty of hard currency to invest in extracting it. The Soviets need the cash, and Russian leaders from the time of the czars have been eager to develop that frozen wilderness. But the two parties have differed on just about every detail, from interest rates to what should be developed first.

Last week the odd couple finally agreed to...

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