Deputy finance ministers of the Group of Seven industrial nations sought common ground Friday as they reassessed aid to the Soviet Union in response to the tumultuous changes of the last two weeks.
Few details of the meeting at the Ministry of Finance leaked out. The participants included U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary David A. Mulford and Tadao Chino, Japan’s new vice minister of finance.
The gathering followed a meeting Thursday in London where representatives of the seven powerful democracies agreed that the Soviet Union is in need of food, technical assistance and medical aid.
U.S. government sources in London said that although the advisers did not break significant ground, they agreed that it is important to signal to Moscow that the group intends to help.
British Prime Minister John Major, current G-7 chairman, is to visit the Soviet Union on Sunday on behalf of the group.
He has said the leading democracies must reassess their attitude toward the Soviet Union in light of the failed coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and realignment of centralized power in the country.
Major and President Bush on Friday wrapped up two days of talks in Kennebunkport, Me., on Western strategy toward the Soviet Union.
“I think the consultations we’ve had on the Soviet Union and indeed on other trouble spots around the world have been fruitful from the United States’ standpoint,” Bush said as he bade farewell to the British leader.
Bush and Major told reporters Thursday they agreed that the West’s priorities in helping the Soviet Union through its transformation from Communist rule should be food aid and technical economic assistance--essentially the same plan adopted at July’s London summit of the Group of Seven.