Committee for the Operational Management of The National Economy

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The Committee for Operational Management of the National Economy (COME) and a parallel body, the Interrepublican Economic Committee (IEC), were created in the wake of the failed coup of August 1991, in a vain bid to coordinate economic policy across the territory of the Soviet Union. They were trying to pick up the functions of the government of the USSR, which had disintegrated after the coup. COME was headed by Ivan Silaev, a former deputy prime minister in the Soviet government (19851990) who had been appointed by Boris Yeltsin in June 1990 as prime minister of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic. Silaev struggled to maintain food supplies and deal with Soviet debt obligations, while Yeltsin's reform team, led by Yegor Gaidar, was preparing a radical reform program. Silaev resigned as Russian prime minister on September 27, 1991, after being accused of trying to empower the COME at the expense of the Russian Federation (for example, by taking control over energy supplies). Silaev then became acting prime minister of the Soviet Uniona country that had de facto ceased to exist. Together with Grigory Yavlinsky he worked on a treaty on economic cooperation between the republics, but encountered hostility from the Russian Federation Supreme Soviet and government. He tried to salvage some of the ministries of the Soviet government, whose forty thousand employees were still sitting in Moscow. The COME and IEC were founded on the assumption that some elements of the unified Soviet economic management system would be preserved, but this proved erroneous. Over the course of 1991 all republican governments had progressively ceased to cooperate with federal economic agencies, refusing to pay taxes and ignoring policy directives, and this trend accelerated after the failed August coup. By the end of 1991 all the republics had declared their complete independence and the COME and IEC were closed down. In the future, economic ties between the newly independent states would be conducted on a bilateral basis without any central coordinating agency such as COME.

See also: august 1991 putsch; gaidar, yegor timurovich; yavlinsky, grigory alexeyevich; yeltsin, boris nikolayevich

Peter Rutland

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Committee for the Operational Management of The National Economy

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Committee for the Operational Management of The National Economy