In August 1991 the world witnessed three days that were to have far-reaching implications for the future of the Soviet Union; August 19-21, 1991 were three days that shook the world. In fact, the failed coup d'etat was the first step in the final dissolution of the Soviet Union. It launched the last phase in a process that had already started a couple of years ago. By the end of 1991 the Soviet state had withered away, albeit not in the manner foreseen by Marx.
Before the disintegration of the Soviet Union commenced, profound changes had taken place in the foreign trade system of the country. Changes that had positive as well as negative consequences for Western businessmen involved in foreign trade transactions with Soviet entities. These changes also affected the number and frequency of disputes in the foreign trade area.
Traditionally, there were very few litigated disputes in the previously existing Soviet foreign trade system.1 Naturally, differences of opinion and disputes did occur, but they were usually settled through negotiations.