Although the recent elections point to big changes in the Soviet Union, there is no need for political parties other than the Communist Party, a member of the Soviet INF treaty inspection team said Tuesday.
Oleg Sholga said all Russian people have the same aim, so there is no need for a multi-party system as in the United States.Sholga and Nikoli Scheklein, members of the inspection team that soon will move from Magna to new quarters in West Jordan, spoke during a Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting in the Red Lion Inn.
Sholga said the recent Soviet Union elections are a "great victory" for the democratic process in his country and they will serve as the basis for major changes in other aspects of Soviet life. "It gives all of the citizens a chance to participate," he said.
Commenting on the overwhelming support Russian voters gave Boris N. Yeltsin, who was elected to the People's Congress of Deputies, Sholga said Yeltsin had the support of the working people. "His popularity was based on their support for his policies," he said.
Responding to a question about land reforms, Scheklein said his father and mother were farmers so he is well acquainted with agriculture. He said there are state-owned farms, there are collective farms and now people are allowed to lease farming land for 50 years.
Those people leasing farming land can buy machines and fertilizers and they can even pass on their farms to their children, something never before allowed in the Soviet Union, Scheklein said. He doesn't know if most of the country's emphasis will be placed upon the state-owned farms or the collective farms, but there will be some changes in those systems.
Both men were asked if what they have experienced in the United States was different from what they expected. Sholga, who is on his first tour with the on-site inspection team making certain that Hercules Aerospace doesn't produce any more Pershing 2 missiles, said his impression of the United States is "quite positive."
Scheklein, who is completing his third term on the team, got a laugh from the chamber members when he said he thought all Americans were cowboys. That's only fair, he said, because most Americans think all Russians are spies.
Besides stopping the jamming of radio broadcasts into the country and loosening travel restrictions, Scheklein said the Soviet Union is looking toward forming joint business ventures with companies from the West and also Soviet-bloc countries.
Scheklein said agriculture, hotels, McDonald's and personal computers would do well in the Soviet Union.