Russian inflation

The article "Russia Acts Against Inflation, Shifting From Industry Focus," Jan. 22, shows how partisanship can cloud objective analysis. The author refers to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's "go-slow approach to reforms." But readers are invited to side with the faction associated with former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, who wants Reagan-style economics for Russia. We are told that raising the pension of the elderly to $9 a month will be inflationary. Reformers see it as "economically ruinous." But t hese same reformers did achieve one success: to remove price controls and profit caps on basic foodstuffs.

Somehow, rising food prices aren't inflationary but helping the poor to buy these items is. The United States, through the International Monetary Fund, is insisting on Reaganomics for Russia just as we move away from it at home. This means lucrative profits for Western investors and a Russian elite; but it breeds widespread backlash and nationalism, which will cost us far more dearly. David Keppel, Essex, Conn.

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.

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