Kohl to Visit Moscow, May Discuss Aid
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl will visit the Soviet Union on July 15-16 at the invitation of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the official Tass news agency said Friday.
Officials in Bonn said Kohl, who last visited Moscow in February, will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Finance Minister Theo Waigel.
The West Germans are expected to discuss Western economic aid to shore up Gorbachev’s flagging economic reforms.
Bonn last week announced a $2.9-billion credit to Moscow. Observers expect Kohl will try to use this aid as a bargaining chip to gain Soviet acceptance of membership in NATO for the new state being created by merging East and West Germany. Moscow has steadfastly opposed such a membership.
Kohl asked European Community leaders meeting in Dublin this week to make commitments of aid to Moscow as well.
In Washington, President Bush reiterated his opposition to immediate U.S. aid to Moscow and acknowledged that Washington has “some differences” with its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over the issue. He said Gorbachev’s market reforms must be in place before aid is sent.
During Kohl’s visit to Moscow on Feb. 10, Gorbachev promised to leave the time frame for German reunification for Germans to decide.
Gorbachev’s policy reversed the Soviets’ 45-year refusal to allow a united Germany so as to prevent any chance of a powerful Germany again posing a military threat to the Soviet Union, as it did in World War II.