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Reforms in Europe triggered by democratic processes in former USSR, says Russian expert

Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Dynkin said that there's a common thing for all post-communist states: expectations of "the major part of the population have failed to be realized"

JURMALA /Latvia/, May 31. /TASS/. Democratic processes in the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s triggered reforms in all Eastern and Central European countries, Alexander Dynkin, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told TASS on Friday.

"Post-communist reforms in Central and Eastern Europe were hardly ever possible without reforms in Russia," said Dynkin, who is Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations. "Suppose the Cold War was won by the Soviet Union, such countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, would have inevitably joined the Warsaw Pact."

A major thing that is in common for all post-communist countries, in his words, is that expectations of "the major part of the population have failed to be realized."

"When those reforms were only pending there were expectations that history had a linear character: from the bad Marxism to the good liberalism," he said. "But history has proved to be a capricious mistress and once again demonstrated that it is never linear and by far not unambiguous and can yield different results in different countries."

"Russia is following its own, quite painful, path because it never had any experience of market democracy," he argued. "But it does have certain achievements. I think the living standards in Russia were among the highest in the 20th century and the level of freedom was also quite high."

Dynkin is taking part in the Baltic Forum international conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communist regimes in Europe, held from May 31 through June 1.