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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2019 year, number 1

THE GRAIN CRISIS OF 1963 IN THE SOVIET UNION AND FOREIGN TRADE COLLISIONS OF ITS RESOLUTION

N. Yu. Pivovarov
Institute of World History RAS, 32a, Lenina Str., 119334, Moscow, Russian Federation
Keywords: зерновая проблема, хлебозаготовительный кризис, хлебный импорт, Президиум ЦК КПСС, Министерство внешней торговли, СССР, Канада, США, grain problem, grain procurement crisis, grain import, Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, Ministry of Foreign Trade, USSR, Canada, USA

Abstract

The article investigates mechanisms of wheat purchase in foreign markets in connection with the grain crisis of 1963 in the USSR based on the documents of the CPSU Central Committee Presidium. It shows the process of negotiations and grain purchase by the Soviet government delegation in Canada, as well as analyzes the reasons, why the Soviet Union was unable to buy grain in the USA. The author believes that main reasons of the negotiations failure were related to the fact that the US leadership, unlike the Canadian government, pursued not only economic, but also political goals (attempts to strengthen the Democratic Party positions before the presidential elections of 1964 and to form a new political course of J. K. Kennedy). However, the protracted negotiation process, American bureaucratic machine’s clumsiness, and strengthening positions of the conservative force led to the negotiations’ termination. The author concludes that resolution of the bread shortage problem in the USSR became possible thanks to the Soviet diplomats’ efforts. At the same time, grain purchases abroad affected N. S. Khrushchev’s image and became one of the reasons for his resignation in October 1964.