The author of the opinion-page article "Before West Sends Aid, Moscow Must Learn to Help Itself," Dec. 3, is correct. The former Soviet Union needs to implement fundamental economic reforms before Western nations send money to help pull its people out of their "third-world status." However, the author fails to address the real problem: Moscow doesn't know how to help itself. The reform-minded leaders in Moscow need practical guidelines, not politicians lambasting them. The author needs to step back from his rhetoric and realize that the cold war is over. The former USSR collapsed from within and no amount of Western aid is going to "revive [the Evil Empire] and all that it represents." Constance Cork, Boston Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.