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A-14World THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Sunday, October 13, 1991 Western nations may expand economic assistance Groups ready to renew relief as Soviets prepare for winter debt relief program or other aid. Until now the seven nations, which include the United States, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada and Italy, have offered billions of dollars in food and medical supplies. Saturday's actions, however, marked an important new stage in Western help.. THE NEW YORK TIMES BANGKOK, Thailand After an evening of extraordinary meetings here with Soviet economic officials, the financial leaders of the world's seven largest industrial nations appeared ready move toward an emergency program to prevent a Soviet debt crisis, officials said early today. The finance ministers and central bank governors of the nations that make up the Group of 7 said they had received an important presentation from the Soviets and scheduled further talks today. The Group of 7 appeared to edge closer to some kind of major Give Yourself Some Credit. h THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW The bite is back in the Moscow air, the days are getting darker sooner and the thoughts of pensioners naturally turn to tonight's meal. With another hard winter hurtling toward the Soviet Union, planeloads of Western food also are on the way. "What food?" asked Zinaida Suchkova, shaking an empty paper bag outside an almost empty store. "I keep hearing about the Western food, but I never see it." Suchkova, 57, gets a 100-ruble pension each month, the amount a tourist receives when he changes $3. Her deaf, disabled husband gets 132 rubles. Every kopeck goes for shopping. There is no money to replace the ratty brown coat she wears or buy the 250-ruble Bible she wants. "For dinner I'm eating bread tonight!" she shouted, drawing Republics are reluctant to send products beyond their borders. Farms are reluctant to feed a state distribution system when they can profit more from the open market. People like Lubov Gormarova, 65, another of Russia's 26 million pensioners, say they can only shop in the state stores or borrow from relatives. "My pension would not last a week in a private market," she said. Quality is better in private markets, but common foods like tomatoes, cabbage and eggs can cost 10 to 15 times the price at a state store, when it has them. In July, Kisselev said, 108 million of the republic's 148.7 million people were living below a "poverty line" of 290 rubles a month. President Mikhail Gorbachev is trying to seal economic agreements that would make sure republics distribute their food evenly. stares. "The Communist Party gets it all!" Identifying the people who need relief and surmounting the red tape that can tie it up or the corruption that can divert it are tasks facing myriad nations, relief agencies and churches gearing up for the second annual feed-the-Sov-iets drive. The European Community says it will contribute $2.4 billion; the United States and other industrial nations are ready to follow suit. "We expect even more this winter," said Andrei Kisselev, chairman of the Russian Foundation for Social and Health Assistance and a member of the World Health Organization's emergency relief board. Some governments believe the Soviets overstate their needs. There is plenty of food, but also much evidence that affordable essentials are increasingly beyond the reach of average households. 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