In his report to the XXV CPSU Congress in 1976, Secretary General Brezhnev observed that in foreign economic relations, politics and economics, diplomacy and business, and industrial production and trade, were all interwoven in a single entity, and that their direction required a comprehensive approach. 1 He thus made it clear that the Soviet Union's attitudes to foreign trade are determined by a variety of different political and economic factors, both internal and external. At the same time, therefore, he raised the fundamental question of the importance of political considerations in Soviet foreign trade activities. On this topic, as far as inter-system economic relations are concerned, the political declaration of the CMEA Summit conference of 14 June 1984 stated that political detente in the preceding decade had promoted the development of mutually advantageous relations between states and that without this precondition no lasting basis for the reinforcement of detente could be created. 2 One would thus have to assume that the relationship between politics and economics in inter-system economic relations was an automatic one, such that good political relations between states lead directly to increased economic relations and, conversely, that any deterioration in the political situation is bound to have an immediate and direct impact on economic connections.