Kremlin leader launches four-week foreign policy blitz
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will visit Cuba, the United Nations headquarters in New York, and Britain in the first half of December, the Soviet Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. Announcing the the visits, spokesman Gennady Gerasimov said that it could ``be assumed'' that Mr. Gorbachev will meet both President Ronald Reagan and President-elect George Bush in New York. The New York visit seems to underline Soviet keenness to maintain a brisk tempo in talks - and more importantly arms control negotiations - with Washington. Though the Soviet spokesman mentioned both Mr. Bush and Mr. Reagan, Moscow seems to be mainly interested in the President-elect.
Mr. Gerasimov said that any meetings in New York with US leaders would probably not result in new agreements. But he noted Mr. Bush's declared interest for an early meeting with the Soviet leadership. Gorbachev will also deliver ``an important speech'' to the UN General Assembly, Gerasimov said.
Gorbachev will be spending most of the next four weeks absorbed in foreign policy. He is due to spend next weekend in India, and will on his return receive French President Fran,cois Mitterrand. In the past two months he has also met Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitsky, Italian Prime Minister Ciriaco de Mita, and West Germany's Helmut Kohl.