Bush Balances New Realities of Soviet Politics Promises of Aid to Gorbachev Are Tempered by Respect for Increased Powers of Republics Series: MOSCOW SUMMIT. First of Two Articles Appearing Today

By Daniel Sneider and Marshall Ingwerson, writers of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 31, 1991 | Go to article overview

Bush Balances New Realities of Soviet Politics Promises of Aid to Gorbachev Are Tempered by Respect for Increased Powers of Republics Series: MOSCOW SUMMIT. First of Two Articles Appearing Today


Daniel Sneider and Marshall Ingwerson, writers of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


UNITED States President Bush delivered concrete evidence of his support for Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev July 29. In a speech the first day of the summit, Mr. Bush announced that he would submit a trade agreement to the US Congress that would lead immediately to long-sought most favored nation trading status for the Soviets.

"The Soviet Union should become a full participant in the global economy, and the United States will support you in that effort," Bush said. As he did at the summit of seven Western leaders in London, Bush held out the possibility that more substantial aid would be forthcoming, but only after evidence of Soviet reform actions.

"Progress rests on the pace of your reforms," he said, "on the speed with which you move from a system based on command and control to one based on supply and demand. As in Eastern Europe, our assistance will keep pace with your reform."

Bush also tried to weave his way through the complicated tangle of Soviet internal politics. Referring to the proliferation of parties and political voices now erupting, Bush answered the question of where American support lies: "America stands with the forces of freedom and reform - wherever they are found."

But during the first day of talks, it was already evident that this is far from a simple proposition. The US president started his day in the St. George's Hall in the Kremlin with the man he clearly knows - and likes - best, Mr. Gorbachev.

But he ended his day of meetings by sitting down with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in his recently acquired Kremlin office. (The Moscow Bush won't see, Page 3.)

Gorbachev is also trying to maintain a balance between preserving his authority and recognizing the new assertive role of the republics that make up the Union. He invited Mr. Yeltsin and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, one of the more prominent republican figures, to join the talks with Bush and to lunch afterward.

But Yeltsin pointedly did not appear, preferring instead to emphasize his own 45-minute meeting with Bush. The previous day Yeltsin signed a treaty with Lithuania, which treats the Baltic republic as an independent state.

Yeltsin also devoted some of his remarks then to an attack on the Soviet Communist Party for its opposition to his recent decree banning all party cell organizations in factories and government offices. …

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