Soviet Union Table of Contents
During the 1980s, the Soviet Union exported more to Third World countries than it imported from them. Official Soviet statistics showed a trade deficit for this period, but arms and military equipment sales, which were not reported and are thus termed ""unidentifiable"" exports, accounted for approximately 50 percent of total exports to the Third World throughout the 1980s. Thus, the Soviet Union's hard-currency balance of trade (see Glossary), including arms sales, with the Third World was positive from 1980 through 1986. In fact, the Soviet Union's positive hard-currency trade balance with the Third World exceeded its hard-currency deficit with the Western industrialized countries in 1985 and 1986. For this reason, the Soviet Union showed an overall positive hardcurrency trade balance for these years.
Until the mid-1970s, bilateral clearing agreements were the primary means by which the Soviet Union settled accounts with its Third World partners. By the early 1980s, hard-currency payments had become the preferred means of settlement. Clearing agreements were used in less than half of all trade transactions. On occasion, the Soviet Union bartered arms for oil.
Data as of May 1989