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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reform Is Painful, Klaus Tells Russia

It is impossible to avoid painful shocks and pointless to count on foreign aid in the transition from communism to a free market, the Czech Republic's prime minister, Vaclav Klaus, told Russians on Tuesday.


On a visit to Russia, Klaus wrote an article in the daily newspaper Izvestia sharing the lessons of his nation's economic revival.


"The role of foreign aid in the process of transformation is, at best, insignificant," Klaus wrote. "First of all, reform must take place at home. Second, we have realized that appealing for aid in the increasingly egoistic and protectionist final decade of the 20th century is a useless matter."


Klaus met President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on Tuesday to discuss trade, economic cooperation, Russian debts and other issues.


The Czech Republic has moved far more quickly than Russia to adopt a free-market system. In January, Chernomyrdin announced that "the period of market romanticism has ended" in Russia but said the country would continue gradual reforms, avoiding shocks.


"In the course of transformation there is absolutely no possibility of avoiding shocks, caused by economic activity that is not viable, that is based on subsidized prices, artificial demand and closed markets," Klaus wrote in Izvestia.