The topic that was popular in the late 80s and 90s of the last century will still come in the media stream, even 27 years after the collapse of the USSR. However, excursus into history are very useful to understand “who we are and where we are going to.” And the topic – who kept whom in the USSR – has covered by the Russian website “Vzglyad” in the article by Pyotr Akopov “Why Russia “gave the last “to the Soviet republics”.
The main idea of the article is that in the USSR, the Soviet republics developed largely at the cost of Russia and to the prejudice of Russia, while having become independent states, some of former USSR countries believe that they either received too little from Moscow, or even kept Russia. Moreover, some of the former Soviet countries demand Russia to compensate the damage caused during the years of “Soviet occupation”.
I do not mean to judge if the article is objective enough, I am not aimed to do it. But, it should be said, as for Turkmenistan, it is true everything mentioned. Particular, in the USSR, no republic kept Turkmenistan, and everything that was done for our republic within its membership in the USSR, was paid excessively by the Turkmen natural resources and the labor of its population.
“No matter how you count, but according to per capita consumption, it turns out that Russia and Belarus kept almost every republic. Ukraine was almost at zero, and Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan (thanks to its oil and gas reserves) earned even more than they spent,” Pyotr Akopov informs.
During perestroika period and after the USSR collapse, publications with this topic were very popular. At the same time, quite often order materials that had nothing to do with the truth were published. As a rule, Central Asia, and in particular, Turkmenistan was classified as a republic that is not able to pursue an independent economic policy. Just a few serious economists said that Turkmenistan is a donor republic in the USSR and that in the event of the collapse of the Union it will be able to “live” economically independently. Life proved their case.
The article emphasizes that among those countries that were at the forefront of late Soviet separatism, there was not a donor republic, and in these countries, after the USSR collapse, the living standard is declined.
“The living standard has grown only in those countries that have not aimed to join anywhere: in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan,” the author notes.
Generally speaking, to make claims, to pay off old scores, and especially the very old ones like above mentioned, is not good. The history should be remembered, but not everything that happened in the past needs to be “carried” with you today. Something needs to be set free. It would be easier to live.