Soviet President's State Visit to the USA

Author: Alexei OBUKHOV

Soviet President's State Visit to the USA


IT TAKES SOME TIME to see the meaning of events that are co-essential with the times of changes and that crystallise their typical characteristics. Some time should pass before an integral composition can be discerned in the plexus of isolated facts. The regular (seventh since the Soviet Union has launched perestroika) Soviet-US summit meeting held from May 30 to June 4 is one of such history-making events.

Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to the USA received overwhelming coverage: it was so full of most diverse material, political and purely psychological content. This "information explosion" should now be channelled into strict analysis.

Addressing the USSR Supreme Soviet session on June 12, Mikhail Gorbachev set out the politico-philosophical framework for such an analysis. Symptomatically enough, many of the Soviet President's assessments and forecasts were not merely close to what the US President said about the results of the summit meeting but fully accorded with it. Until quite recently similar congeniality would have evoked ambiguous associations. Today the situation is different. The concordant assessment of the visit by the Soviet and the US sides confirms anew that the choice made in April 1985 in favour of developing on both sides cooperation between the USSR and the USA was historically fruitful.

Awareness of the tremendous importance of the occurrence enhances the inherent need to make an inventory of the results of the Soviet President's visit to the USA and the desire to see what has been accomplished, what was not a success, what lessons should be learned in the future and what tasks require priority attention.

Needless to say, it is not easy to talk about the summit after Mikhail Gorbachev's detailed discourse at the Supreme Soviet and the speeches made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other members of the Soviet delegation. Nevertheless, the summit talks in Washington ...

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